Profile of Ali Bongo, ousted Gabonese president

President of Gabon, Ali Bongo, was ousted on Wednesday morning by the military officers of the country.

The military takeover, according to the statement released by the officers under the aegis of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions, cited “serious institutional, political, economic and social crises” as among the factors responsible for the coup.

The coup in the oil-rich Central African nation comes on the heel of the yet-to-be-resolved coup in Niger Republic,

The African continent is no stranger to military coups, having recorded a total of 214 attempted coups since 1950, out of which 106 were successful.

According to the Gabonese army officers, they have “decided to defend peace by putting an end to the regime in power,” after annulling the Saturday elections in which Ali Bongo was declared the winner.

In 2019, the country witnessed an attempted coup when “five soldiers took control of the national radio station at 04:30 local time (03:30 GMT) to read a short statement announcing a National Restoration Council,” BBC reports.

In this piece, PUNCH looks at the profile of Ali Bongo, the man whose family has held to the reins of power for 53 years.

  1. Born Alain Bernard Bongo on February 9, 1959, in Congo-Brazzaville, the 64-year-old studied law at the Sorbonne. In 2018, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Wuhan University, China.
  2. Bongo is the son of former president Omar Bongo, who ruled Gabon for almost 42 years, from 1967 until his death in 2009. It’s deceptive to think Nigeria can’t witness another military coup – Group
  3. Bongo converted to Islam and adopted the name ‘Ali,’ along with his father, born, Albert-Bernard Bongo, who also changed his name to ‘Omar.’
  4. Under the administration of his late father, Bongo served as the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (1989 – 1991), represented Bongoville as a Deputy in the National Assembly (1991 – 1999) and was Minister of Defence (1999 – 2009).
  5. Ali Bongo was sworn in as the President of Gabon in 2009 and was re-elected in 2016, in elections said to have been “marred by numerous irregularities, arrests and human rights violations.”
  6. On August 30, 2023, Bongo’s bid for a consecutive third term was unsuccessful after the nation’s army officers under the CTRI took over power, thereby bringing an end to his 14-year rule.
  7. Bongo is a music lover. In 1977, he released a funk album titled, ‘A Brand New Man,’ produced by Charles Bobbit.
  8. Bongo is married to French-born Sylvia Valentin with whom he has four children.
  9. In October 2009, in an effort to reduce corruption and government bloat, Bongo began efforts to streamline the government in which he removed 17 minister-level positions and abolished the vice presidency.
  10. In 2018, Bongo suffered a stroke during an official trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital. He reappeared in August 2019 after his absence from public functions for 10 months.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *