President Bola Tinubu has voiced his concerns regarding the increasing occurrence of coups in African nations, urging a united front against the spread of what he terms “contagious autocracy” throughout the continent. In response to the recent coup in Gabon, Tinubu expressed his commitment to collaborating with fellow African leaders to safeguard democracy on the continent.
President Tinubu’s statement comes in the wake of a military takeover in Gabon, occurring just a month after a similar incident in Niger. The Gabonese coup involved a dozen soldiers announcing the cancellation of election results and the dissolution of various institutions. The coup took place after President Ali Bongo secured a third term, leading to opposition claims of electoral fraud.
Speaking through his spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu emphasized his belief in empowering the people of Africa rather than relying on forceful takeovers. He is closely monitoring the situation in Gabon and working with other African leaders to address the spreading autocracy.
In addition to his role in handling the situation in Niger, Tinubu engaged in discussions with Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau. Both leaders underscored the importance of upholding democratic values, not only within the African Union but also globally, to ensure the economic prosperity of African nations.
International bodies, including the United States, European Union, and United Nations, have expressed their concerns over the unfolding situation in Gabon. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, condemned the coup attempt and called for restraint and respect for the rule of law and human rights. The EU Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, warned against increasing instability due to coups in the region.
As the situation unfolds, the world watches closely, with President Tinubu’s call for unity against autocracy resonating among international leaders concerned about Africa’s democratic future.