By Wisdom Nwedene
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has revealed that “contagious autocracy” is spreading across Africa and he is committed to working with other heads of state in the continent to defend democracy.
President Tinubu stated this in his first response to the Wednesday coup in Gabon, according to a statement by his spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale.
9News Nigeria had reported how military officers in Gabon took over power in the central African country. They said they seized power in the central African country because elections held over the weekend were not credible. They cancelled the elections, dissolved all state institutions and closed the country’s borders.
In his statement, Mr Ngelale said President Tinubu is “watching closely with deep concern” for Gabon’s socio-political stability and “at the seeming autocratic contention apparently spreading across different regions of our beloved continent.”
Tinubu is leading ECOWAS’ efforts to reverse the coup in neighbouring Niger and has been reluctant to authorise the use of force as approved by the ECOWAS heads of government to restore constitutional order in Niger.
The statement reads in full,
President Bola Tinubu is watching closely with deep concern for the country’s social political stability and at the seeming autocratic contention apparently spreading across different regions of our beloved continent.
The President as a man who has made significant, personal sacrifices in his own life in the course of advancing and defending democracy is of the unwavering belief that power belongs in the hands of Africa’s great people and not in the barrel of a loaded gun.
The President affirms that the rule of law and a faithful recourse to the constitutional resolutions and instruments of electoral dispute resolution must not at any time be allowed to perish from our great continent.
To this end, the President is working very closely and continues to communicate with other Heads of States in the African Union towards a comprehensive consensus on the next steps forward with respect to how the power in Gabon will play out and how the continent will respond to contagious autocracy we have seen spread across our continent.