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Ali Bongo takes on his critics; says they are afraid of him

Ali Bongo takes on his critics; says they are afraid of him

Gabon

Gabon’s president Ali Bongo has taken a swipe at the opposition which has consistently derided his decision to seek another term in office.

Bongo who came to power in 2009 following the death of his father, Omar Bongo has been criticized by the country’s opposition who have also cast doubts over his nationality.

According to them, the late president Omar Bongo adopted Ali Bongo during the Biafra war in Nigeria hence he does not qualify to run for president as the constitution requires the country’s president to be Gabonese by birth.

But in an interview with the AFP news agency in the capital Libreville, Ali Bongo said the opposition parties are “afraid to come against me in the August 27 election”.

He said contrary to what the opposition parties may think, “I won my place. It didn’t just fall to me like that as I presented my program to my compatriots”.

Ali Bongo has successfully filed to contest the election which comes off in a fortnight in spite of the stiff opposition he has faced.

The war of words by the opposition does not seem to have dissuaded the incumbent who continues to canvass for vote.

“I have a program for the coming years which is much stronger than that of my opponents. And I have to repeat again that I will bring change, not them. They are men of the past,” he said.

Tension is high in Gabon ahead of the presidential election in two weeks with police having clashed with opposition supporters a few times in the capital Libreville.