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Former Ekiti Governor Ayodele Fayose Declares Support for Gabon Coup

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LAGOS,  Nigeria — Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Nigeria’s Ekiti State, announced his support for the military coup in Gabon that toppled President Ali Bongo.

The Central African nation was thrown into turmoil on August 30, 2023, when military officers declared on television that they had seized power, dissolved state institutions, and placed President Bongo under house arrest.

The coup came after electoral results that would have extended the Bongo family’s more than half-century reign in Gabonese politics.

Fayose, in an interview with journalists on Friday, September 1, 2023, questioned long-standing power dynamics in some African nations.

“I’m very happy with what happened with Gabon. I don’t like military incursion in politics, but Nigeria is different because we have reasonably stabilized democracy,” he stated.

“In Nigeria, you can see an uninterrupted democratic process, where elections happen every four years. We’ve seen power change hands between parties and individuals within short periods. However, in a country where one man has been in power for decades, he must be ousted—by whatever means necessary. That setting is different from Nigeria,” Fayose added.

Comparing the demographics of Nigeria to Gabon, the former governor noted that while Nigeria is still not fully developed in the final order and has a population of 200 million, Gabon has only 2.5 million residents.

For context, Fayose mentioned that Ekiti State, which he governed for eight years, has a population larger than Gabon’s.

Fayose further argued that while military intervention should be a temporary measure, it must be part of a transition strategy to establish a more democratic and transparent governance system.

“The military should facilitate a transition, ideally as short as possible, to perfect these democratic structures,” he said.

The former governor also warned against the support of coups in Nigeria.

“Nigerians, when you mention coups, will report you. They’ll come and arrest you. Because the moment you hear about a coup and do not report it, you deserve to be killed,” he cautioned.

Fayose’s remarks have sparked a flurry of conversations about the role of military coups in modern African politics and questions about how long-standing regimes should be addressed within the democratic framework.

His statements stand as a notable moment of political introspection at a time when Africa grapples with issues of governance and stability.

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