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Gabon Coup: All You Need To Know About Brice Oligui Ngueme

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All You Need To Know About Gabon New Military Leader

Brice Oligui Ngueme is arguably one of the most influential figures in GABON today. He heads the Republican Guard of the Gabonese presidency – this is the most powerful security unit in the country.

Brice is the son of a military officer. He trained at the Royal Military Academy of Meknes, in Morocco. Brice went from serving as an “aides-de-camp” to becoming a commander in the former president Omar Bongo’s Republican Guard, until the former president’s death in 2009.

When Omar Bong’s son, Ali Bongo rose to power in October of 2009, Nguema was sent to Morocco and Senegal on a diplomatic missions.

A decade later, he took over as the head of the guards. Military officers of the guard he took over from are recognized by their green berets, and are responsible for presidential security.

As head of the guard, Nguema did his best to fortify Gabon’s internal security systems with reforms that were seen as elongating Bongo’s stay in power.

Nguema was said to have even composed a song that included this line: “I would defend my president with honor and loyalty.” So Brice was truly loyal.

But when in October of 2018 the president suffered a bad stroke that left him terribly weakened, things began to take a turn for the worse.

Everyone expected the president would honorably resign to take care of his failing health, but no! With France’s encouragement, he stayed on, even when he could hardly walk.

The Gabonese people were tired of seeing him and infuriated at the fact that he kept winning elections, despite his lack of unpopular to garner much expected votes.

During an interview with Le Monde on Wednesday, Ngueme echoed those sentiments: “Beyond this discontent, there is the illness of the head of state.

Everyone talks about it, but no one takes responsibility. He did not have the right to serve a third term. The constitution has been violated and raped inbroad daylight, the method of the election itself was flood withirregularities. So the army decided to turn the page, to take its responsibility,” Nguema said.

There was supposed to be a meeting of the Generals to decide on a successor for Ali Bongo. When and how that will happen after his appointment as the Transition Council head is unknown.

What is know is that his comrades love him, and are already calling him “President!” In an incredible twist of fate occasioned by colonial Europe’s “democratic” misadventures on the continent, Africans are suddenly choosing military rule over civilian ones, at least under the circumstances. The days and weeks ahead are heavily pregnant.

Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication

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