Ali Bongo Ondimba – The Nigerian Orphan Who Is Now Gabon’s President


Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba is the current president of Gabon. After the death of Omar Bongo, he won the Presidential elections in Gabon. Thus it is easier said that he succeeded his father who ruled Gabon for 42 years.

Ali Bongo Ondimba was born in 1959. He studied in France, graduating as a PhD Law holder from the Sorbonne. By 1981 he had become a politician. He served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1989. For 10 years, he was the defense minister of Gabon.

Prior to the 2009 elections there were controversies about his place of birth and origin. Ali Bongo claimed he was born in Brazzaville but the truth was finally revealed in a court session in western France.

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It was revealed that Gabon’s president is a Nigerian, from the Igbo tribe. His ‘foster’ father, Omar Bongo had adopted him during the Nigerian civil war (Biafra). Ali Bongo feared that this revelation would disqualify him. In any case it didn’t. Just like in the Obama case, Ali became the president and has ruled till date.

Ali Bongo’s father and past Gabonese President was the longest-serving African leader at the time of his death. In 1973, Omar and Ali Bongo both converted to Islam.

Gabon is an oil rich nation and equally blessed with other minerals. Because of the enormous economic benefits of this natural wealth, Omar was accused of gross embezzlement and bribery crimes – Kleptocracy. Before the elections that launched Ali as President, there were already speculations that he would be the winner.

The election is believed to have been marred and seriously rigged to ensure that Ali assumed his father’s position. The opposition party called Ali’s victory “a constitutional coup d’etat”.

Ali Bongo Ondimba is a lover of football. He is skilled as well in music – a talent he obtained from his singer mother, Patience Dabany. Of all there is to know about the Gabonese president, non is as striking as the truth of his origin.

Who says we are not all one?

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