Declaration of the United Opposition Front (The Front)
One month ago, we announced the creation of the Opposition United Front (The FRONT) with the determination to do everything possible to achieve democratic change for the first time in the history of our country. Since that day, the FRONT, which is definitely a reality, is organized to materialize this ambition. We return to you today, not to comment on political topics, but for some important clarifications.
The 54th anniversary of our Independence should have been a time of great gathering and national unity. He could have allowed our leaders to courageously update the population about the progress made in recent years and to define the axes of a true National proud. There has unfortunately been nothing as such!
Gabonese expected, for example, to know:
– Why the government can not make a budget that makes sense for more than a year;
– Why the government does not take the situation of living conditions of the population into account and
– Why does it send our children to prison in Libreville, true school of crime, for asking to get their student scholarships paid?
– Why the government has not pay for student scholarships for a year?
– Why is the health sector paralyzed by strikes while the government pretended that everything was fine in a perfect world again?
– Why Ali Bongo, who discovered in 2014 that “his countrymen lived in bad conditions!”, and since then, started the fight against poverty, has suddenly avoided talking about his grand project of 25,000 housing he promised – but never realized – 5 years ago, but the figure is adjusted each year downward, from 5,000 to about 1000/1500 dwellings for year 2012?
– Why only Ali Bongo, his chief of staff and, perhaps, his spokesman, see these “plants” as loudly praised by Ali Bongo in the Special Economic Zone Nkok?
– Why any kind of economic activity can not be verified to date in that area, now that we are closed to his seven years term in power?
– Why only Ali Bongo, his chief of staff and, perhaps, his spokesman, are they the only ones not distinguishing roadworks started before he became head of state, that and he only continues as the highway of four lanes whose works still hang in the PK25 (near capital city Libreville)?
– What happens to the great “business contracts” Ali Bongo signed by thousands, during each of its global travel?
– How many projects stopped or abandoned, barely started! So many promises! So many lies!
Beside parades and fireworks, the only traces that remain of our “Independence Day”, we were treated with the same purring complacency, the same laurels yet overloaded on a braided head of flattery, and, of course, to the vain attempts to blame everything wrong in Gabon on the Opposition. Further proof that government called “Emergence” does not see the same Gabon people of Gabon are seeing!
On August 17, however, 3 major scandals that undermine the Republic and whose resolution, long demanded by the Opposition, meet some consensus in the country, have emerged.
The first of these scandals is related to judicial investigations and judgments of embezzlement of thousands of trillions (of CFA Francs) of which our country has been and remains a victim, despite the many organizations set up to mitigate the effects.
This gigantic predation (embezzlement) of financial resources from timber, manganese, uranium, but especially oil, has been and remains the main obstacle to the development of our country to the extent that, on the one hand, it seriously limits the means necessary to build land, port and airport infrastructures that would have accelerated takeoff and where it blocks, on the other hand, the implementation of a genuine policy of education and health that would have placed our country at the advanced positions of Nations.
Predation is not only the cause of “poverty in a rich country with natural resources” as recognized already by the World Bank in 1997, but it has also created a moral disintegration of state employees and generated a sense of impunity damaging any desire for national reconstruction.
When it comes to the management of the country in which Ali Bongo Ondimba has been involved for 30 years, the head of the so-called «Emergence» took total control of the public media, accusing the ex-members of PDG (ruling party) now in the opposition, of being responsible of all the liabilities of the past 50 years and portraying them in the media as people seeking revenge and the restoration of Omar Bongo type of regime.
Meanwhile, Ali Bongo, who had undertaken to dismantle pan after pan, assets left by the one he had yesterday presented like his father (Omar Bongo), is now as white as kaolin in the face of the Gabonese, unaccountable of any past problems or pitfalls, calling himself an innocent because of his supposed “young age” at the time.
We declare that from this day, we will take each case at every opportunity to remind the actions taken by each other during the long ruling power of (Omar and Ali) Bongo. We will work to clarify the gray areas and highlight the «liabilities» side, all «liabilities». We will hit back.
In deciding now to shed the light on the heinous crime of predation of public funds and property, Ali Bongo made a big step especially as he was reluctant to solve it, replying with a «pirouette» to those were worried. In particular, he said that he a victim of his father’s name, and that he was not involved in any way directly or indirectly (in embezzlement) to the extent that he also surprised reporters by referring during his interview on August 17 (Independence Day), “his home in Paris”, as he has always claimed not to have one there.
People of Gabon, meanwhile, were dismayed to learn and a Head of State, constitutionally guarantees the security of goods and people in a republic, not considered as his duty to recover by all legal means, the money and property belonging to Gabonese taxpayers and put spoilers to justice. We now need to see justice done!
But the case is so important that no Gabonese will accept that, instead of addressing the problem in all its magnitude, the head of state wants to use it as a political tactic, and ultimately will evade it.
Gabonese will not accept Ali arrests some, including few guys without a significant power in the government, to keep away those known to him and many Gabonese, who have and continue to take the country to the (bad) state it is; stigmatizing as always some «petty theft chicken» and «cans of sardines», to allow large « alligators» to continue mismanagement.
Diversions of facts about “revolving celebrations” (of Independence Day), important as they are, are only a very small part in the large folder of «ill-gotten gains» (misappropriated public assets), a large mafia machinations that put Gabon on its knees and whose ramifications are abroad in many countries. We believe that this process can not be managed solely by the Gabonese government. It will need to be extended to foreign jurisdictions, or internationally.
For the record, France, the United State and the United Kingdom, judicial investigations have been initiated, the police officers involved, books written on this extraordinary scandal. We can not stop here!
Fear that this case boils down to a simple political manipulation and a tool of blackmail, we reserve the option to contact, in time, relevant international bodies to assist Gabon and the Gabonese to recover their dues and hence their dignity. We also call on Gabonese magistrates to hold high the banner of judicial independence, to unite their efforts to save the country by defending only the interests that are worth: those of the people of Gabon.
Having been to some of us in the ruling circles of the state, we know that the controls implemented by Gabonese Ministry of Finance by so-called «Chargés d’études» of the Directorate General of the Budget, followed by those of Directorate General of Financial Control and again by those of the Directorate General of the Budget, and finally by those of the General Treasury of the State, that all these barriers in place to prevent fraudulent disbursements can be crossed only by a “Presidential Authority to Steal” (PAS)!
We are now feeling liberated from our duty of confidentiality, we are ready to testify under oath before the magistrates and disclose all the files that we have on the matter (embezzlement in Gabon).
We know that Ali Bongo, as well placed, if not better than us, will disclose other files, including his own. Indeed, who else better than he can explain with what money he could buy palaces in France, England and the United States, or build, as it does today, so many castles in Libreville? Who else can say how he could keep his position as a shareholder in the largest private companies in Gabon, including those responsible for Major Works, while remaining one of the main leaders of the state?
The second scandal, not the least, is the announcement by the Secretary General of the National Security Council, thus boss of Special Services (Secret police). The man used the Independence Day to sound the alarm that seems more, taking into account some of his conclusions, like a cry of distress. Army General Nguetsara, who were in charge of Immigration services for decades, is concerned, as he put it, with “the growth of the immigrant population in Gabon, which is much faster than the growth of the «indigenous» population and its number has exceeded 17% of the total population of Gabon, while the international average standards are between 5% and 7% “, and worse, that «the control of illegal immigration is practically insoluble in the current situation…», it is” currently impossible materially to ensure strict and effective monitoring of our land and sea borders because of their size and geographical configuration, and especially the lack of resources and staff… “! An admission of particularly serious failure in such a key sector for national sovereignty, as well as the security of people and property!
One might add, without wanting to darken the picture painted by the army General, that the whole coast of Gabon, all inlets, from Cocobeach to Mayumba, are controlled by non-domestic fishermen. Just as the small and medium business, three-quarters of the Gabonese economy is in the hands of non-Gabonese operators.
We could also specify, after a great public servant in charge of «Competition and Consumer Affairs», said the same, that the “laissez-faire, laissez-passer” (sort of free for all) of Gabonese officials allowed the foreign importers, wholesalers’ and retailers to gain control of almost all of the Gabonese market. “
This control has fostered siphoning the smaller wage increases by excessive increases in prices because of exorbitant profit margins. This caused a drying up of financial circuits of the government, any surplus being systematically repatriated to their countries of origin without Ali Bongo Ondimba saying anything.
But other consequences have not been described by the army General. Besides money laundering, this system has helped all kinds of illicit trafficking (drugs, counterfeit money, issuing false documents used by foreigners for voting, neutralizing judicial circles by criminal lobbies maligned by European operators robbed). Special (secret) Services have also noted dormant cells of Hezbollah, a significant penetration of Boko Haram, meanwhile, tomorrow, the use of Gabon as backup zone by disturbance elements of some countries in the sub-region!
Our country is in danger!
What the army General did not say, is how it all began! To the extent that this sector (of Immigration) was exclusively managed for 50 years by the Presidency of the Republic. Who else has promoted so heavily that uncontrolled immigration that now threatens the sociological and demographic balances of Gabon?
It is now for Justice to rule on the case of (public) officers who have thus sold off or stolen from their country.
The third scandal, finally, concerns the violent attacks made by Ali Bongo against Jean Ping on August 17. These attacks, coming after those of the President’s press secretary, the Secretary General of PDG (ruling party) and of the Prime Minister, need a clarification on behalf of the FRONT.
There is nothing wrong with a country that calls itself democratic, the people in power work with a diligent and critical opposition control. That opposition mirrors the complaints of people, and works toward alternation of power. The «Emergent in Chief» (Ali Bono), brain fogged by monarchists hints, visibly struggling to get used to democracy since 2009. We could say: “Too bad! He will do! “
But since 1970, assassination of opponents and ritual crimes have the same origin in Gabon: politics. And as Ali Bongo recognizes himself in the interview of August 17, he is not a newcomer to politics. One can even say that he has been playing a very active role for the last 30 years.
Translated from french by Citoyen Libre Gabon