Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba has died after being hospitalized at the King Faisal hospital in Riyadh Saudi Arabia when he suffered from exhaustion.
Reports reaching us at African Stand are yet to be officially confirmed by the state government of Gabon.
Ali Bongo, 59, who fell ill two months back during a visit to Riyadh to attend an economic forum in the Saudi capital, has remained in hospital.
But his spokesman Ike Ngouoni said that doctors there had diagnosed him with “severe fatigue” and ordered bed rest.
In October, The private Cameroonian television station was barred from broadcasting for six months in neighbouring Gabon after erroneously reporting the death of President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
Bongo took over as leader of the oil-rich equatorial African nation October 2009 on the death of his father Omar Bongo, who had ruled Gabon since 1967.
Ali Bongo was re-elected in 2016 by just a few thousand votes in a controversial presidential election.
Also Gabon’s top court had ruled that the vice president will chair the cabinet in the absence of President Ali Bongo, who had remained in hospital in Saudi Arabia.
The decision, announced by the constitutional court on Wednesday, is the first move to fill the vacuum left after Bongo was admitted to hospital during a conference on Oct. 24.
Bongo had not been seen in public since his state of health. The government had said he suffered a bout of fatigue and is recovering, but sources told Reuters that he had a stroke.
“Only the president has the power to chair the Council of Ministers. Unfortunately he is temporarily unavailable for health reasons, and temporary unavailability is not addressed by the constitution,” said Gabon’s Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet, who leads the cabinet.
The Bongo family has confirmed his death but says more will be unveiled to media in due course.
Source: African Stand