President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has told the Gabonese military that military coups and government are out of vogue and urged it to respect the country’s constitutional provisions.
President Buhari, who was once a military head of state between 1 January 1984 and 25 August 1985, said:
“The military officers in Gabon should understand that the era of military coups and governments in Africa and indeed worldwide, is long gone.
“Democracy is supreme and the constitutional stipulations on the peaceful change of administration must be respected. That is the only way we can ensure peace and stability not only within the country but also in the region.”
President Buhari expressed his view in the aftermath of the aborted coup in Gabon on Monday.
Some renegade soldiers, led by a Lieutenant Ondo Obiang Kelly seized the state-owned radio station, sacked the government of President Ali Bongo and announced the formation of a National Restoration Council.
Obiang Kelly was the deputy commander of the Republican Guard and head of a previously unknown group, the Patriotic Youth Movement of the Gabonese Defence and Security Forces. He said he was reading a communique by the military and urged the people to join his rebellion.
But hours after, the Gabonese government restored order, killed two of the plotters and arrested the chief plotter.
President Buhari, who is also the ECOWAS Chairman, urged military officers with political ambitions to resign or face their constitutional role.
He also enjoined the people of Gabon to remain on the side of peace, security, stability and democracy in their country.