On Thursday, President Tinubu’s said his concerns about coups gaining widespread on the continent, following that of Niger were validated recently when soldiers executed a coup in Gabon, annulling the recently concluded election and ending the 56-year rule of the Bongo’s Dynasty.

In the aftermath of President Bola Tinubu’s expression of apprehension regarding military coups on the African continent, Nigerians have reacted strongly.

Their responses vary, with some asserting that the recent coups in Niger and Gabon are internal matters that the president of Nigeria should not meddle in, pointing out that Nigeria itself endured nearly three decades of military takeovers, countered only by the determined efforts of its citizens.

However, in Niger and Gabon, citizens took to the streets in jubilation, celebrating the military takeovers.

Others lambasted the president, accusing him of being a mere puppet of the United States and France, two major powers that have consistently expressed their supports for a military intervention against Niger. The United States and France have also been accused by many Africans of exploiting the continent’s natural resources.

There are also those who argue that President Bola Tinubu is employing the coup issue to divert attention from his own administrative failures and the economic hardships faced by Nigerians.

Corruption in the Bongo Dynasty in Gabon:

The Bongo dynasty, which has ruled Gabon for 56 years, has been widely characterized with corruption and mismanagement of Gabonese resources. The now ousted President Ali Bongo, who took over from his father in 2009, presided over a regime marred by embezzlement, nepotism, and electoral irregularities.

The dynasty’s control over Gabon’s political and economic affairs has led to criticism that the nation’s resources have not been fairly distributed among its citizens.

Gabon is rich in oil resources, but despite this wealth, many Gabonese citizens continue to face economic challenges and limited access to basic services. The Bongo dynasty’s grip on power and corruption have fueled public discontent and protests in the country, underscoring the need for transparency and accountability in Gabon’s governance.

France’s Exploitation of Niger’s Uranium and Gold Resources:

France has a history of exploiting Niger’s uranium and gold resources, a practice that has sparked significant controversy. Niger is one of the world’s top producers of uranium, a vital component in nuclear energy production.

French energy companies, notably Areva (now known as Orano), have been deeply involved in Niger’s uranium extraction. Critics argue that these partnerships have often favored French interests over Niger’s development, leading to resource exploitation.

Additionally, gold mining in Niger has also attracted French companies seeking to profit from the country’s mineral wealth. While these investments have boosted Niger’s economy in rhetorics, the citizens of Niger have continued to wallow in abject poverty, with disastrous environmental impacts associated with mining activities.

Nigerians’ reactions to the coups in Niger and Gabon in relation to President Bola Tinubu’s fears:

The coup in Niger and Gabon has ignited a passionate debate within Nigeria. Nigerians have continued to openly criticized their president, questioning his motivations and raising concerns about potentially fraudulent or contentious elections upon which he was elected Nigeria’s president. They contend that President Tinubu is employing the specter of coups to deflect attention away from his shortcomings as president.

One anonymous speaker stated, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is nothing more than a puppet of the US and France. His professed concerns about military coups are merely a facade to align with the interests of these Western powers, who have gained notoriety in Africa for exploiting the continent’s abundant natural resources.”

Another speaker, Oluwaseun Adeola, implored Nigerians not to let the president divert their focus from pressing national issues such as economic challenges, insecurity, and corruption.

According to Adeola, “These are the real issues affecting the lives of ordinary Nigerians, which should be the president’s top priorities. You can’t be a paperweight, yet parade yourself as heavyweight in the international space. A government that cannot defeat Boko Haram only makes a mockery of itself by proclaiming military intervention in neighboring countries.”

Other critics have expressed concerns regarding the political future of the president of Africa’s most populous country, suggesting that he may face a similar fate to other African leaders who have been ousted from power.

They point to his recent apprehension over the coups in Niger and Gabon as suggestive of a possible discontent within the Nigerian military, which raises the possibility of a coup occurring in Nigeria.

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