By Chris Udochukwu
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has more problems now to contend with as the military has announced a coup in Gabon, deposing President Ali Bongo, who was declared winner of Saturday’s election.
Bongo, who came to power after the death of his father in 2009, won a third term in an election which opposition argued was heavily disputed.
According to Reuters, tensions were running high amid fears of unrest after Saturday’s presidential, parliamentary, and legislative vote, which saw Bongo seeking to extend his family’s 56-year grip on power while the opposition pushed for change in the oil and cocoa-rich but poverty-stricken nation.
A lack of international observers, the suspension of some foreign broadcasts, and the authorities’ decision to cut internet service and impose a night-time curfew nationwide after the poll raised concerns about the transparency of the electoral process.
The BBC quoted soldiers to have appeared on Gabonese national television in Gabon to say they had taken power and annulled Saturday’s election.
The development comes amid the move to resolve the crisis in Niger Republic following the removal of democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.
Both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and African Union (AU), which have rejected the coup in Niger, are yet to react to the situation in Gabon as of the time of filing this report as developments are still unfolding.