In a dramatic turn of events, some military officers struck on Wednesday and removed Ali Bongo, president of Gabon, shortly after his re-election.
The group of 12 officers made the announcement shortly after Gabon’s electoral body reported early on Wednesday morning that Bongo had won a third term in office.
Ali Bongo has been at the helm of Gabon’s affairs for 14 years. He took over from his father Albert-Bernard Bongo, who held power in the central African country for 42-years.
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Here are seven things to know about the ousted Gabonese President.
1. Ali Bongo Ondimba was born Alain Bernard Bongo in Brazzaville, the capital of Congo Republic on February 9, 1959.
2. He is the son of Albert-Bernard Bongo (later Omar Bongo Ondimba) who was president of Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009.
3. His mother, Josephine Kama (later Patience Dabany) was 18 years old at the time of his birth.
4. He was conceived 18 months before Albert-Bernard’s marriage and there have been rumours of him being Bongo’s adopted son, a claim that he dismisses.
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5. During his father’s presidency, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1991, represented Bongoville, a Gabonese city, as a Deputy in the National Assembly from 1991 to 1999, and was Minister of Defense from 1999 to 2009.
6. Ali Bongo was educated at a private school in Neuilly, France, and then studied law at the Sorbonne.
7. In 2018, he received an honorary doctorate of law degree from Wuhan University in China.
8. In 1977, he released a funk album, ‘A Brand New Man’, produced by Charles Bobbit.
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9. Ali Bongo married two women, his first wife, Sylvia Valentin, French born in 1989.
10. She is the daughter of influential French figure, Edouard Valentin, who is the CEO of Omnium Gbabonais d’assurances et de réassurances (OGAR) Insurance Company.
11. He married his second wife, American lnge Lynn Collins Bongo in 2009, but later divorced her in 2015.
12. He has four children, a girl and three boys.