After the announcement that his father Omar Bongo, President of Gabon, had died in a private clinic in Barcelona, eldest son Ali Ben Bongo immediately announced the closure of Gabon's air, land and sea borders.
That really makes nigger sense, especially when your late father was being investigated in another country for fraud.
Why Nicolas Sarkozy turned up at Omar Bongo's funeral is anyone's guess.
Not only did the late Gabonese dictator have an astonishing 40-year record of human right abuses and corruption, but at the time of his death, a French court was investigating him for embezzlement,which always makes things awkward, not to mention the fact that the French government had been accused for years of protecting Bongo from prosecution.
But then, he had to listen to the crowd cheer his predecessor Jacques Chirac (who allegedly received illegal campaign contributions from Bongo) while he got booed: "Go home we don't want you, leave," chanted the protesters. "Timber, petrol, manganese, we've given you everything. If France is what it is, it's thanks to Gabon. We don't want this any more. We want the Americans and Chinese," said one.
Chirac was a close friend of Bongo (and, if you believe Valérie Giscard d'Estaing), received money from him to fund his 1981 presidential campaign. Sarkozy paid him lip service but Bongo was outraged that the French leader had failed to crush a legal complaint about where his family got the money to pay for 39 luxury properties in France and various flash racing cars.
A court order to block some of his France-based bank accounts further irked him. All of this raises the question of why Sarkozy allowed himself to be humiliated like this.
Meanwhile, eldest son Ali Ben Bongo looks certain to inherit his father's presidency following Omar’s death. (The beat goes on, yeah, the beat goes on ...)
Ali Ben Bongo looks like a chip off the old block.
After the announcement that his father Omar Bongo, President of Gabon, had died in a private clinic in Barcelona, he immediately announced the closure of Gabon's air, land and sea borders. Bongo Jnr (pictured left with Ivory Coast ex-rebel leader Soro Guilaume,), who is the country's defence minister and favourite to succeed his father, also announced that "all components of the defence forces" had been put in place across the country.
"I am calling for calm and serenity of heart and reverence to preserve the unity and peace so dear to our late father," he said in a televised address to the oil-rich nation's 1.5m people. It was also announced that in the capital Libreville and across the country flags would fly at half-mast and that a period of 30 days' mourning would be imposed on the down-trodden population to honour the memory of Africa's longest-serving - and possibly most corrupt - leader.
His body is due to be flown home from Spain for a funeral some time in the coming week. Little is known beyond Libreville of Bongo Jnr except that he is the late president's eldest son and has been defence minister since 1999. Before that he was foreign minister. He studied law at university in the United States where he clearly enjoyed the many luxuries of being Bongo's boy.
Among the perks were a legendary Stutz car - once the car of choice among rock stars and potentates - given to him by his father for his 20th birthday. He left it behind in the States when he returned home because his father already had a fleet of them at the family's disposal, each finished with real gold dashboards and the leather seats replaced with fur because, according to Gabonese lore, the presidential derriere is not allowed to touch leather.
Ali Ben Bongo, now 50, is married with three children, and remains devoted to his mother, Josephine Bongo. She divorced President Bongo in 1986 and went on to become an internationally acclaimed singer and drummer, (dem nigga drums ...) changing her name to Patience Dabany. Ali Ben, when he isn't closing borders and laying down the law, likes to write songs for her.
Bongo and his 11 brothers and sisters - nine of them by his father's second wife, Edith, who died earlier this year* - stand to inherit the considerable wealth amassed by their father. But the French authorities could stand in their way. They have been investigating whether Bongo and his family used embezzled state funds to buy luxury property in France - Bongo is said to own more real estate in France than any French citizen - and in February this year froze Bongo's bank accounts. A lawyer for Transparency International, the global anti-corruption campaigners taking on Bongo in the French courts, said yesterday that the President's death "changes nothing" in terms of legal proceedings, and that "several members of his family" remain in his client's sights.
*Bongo snr. did not confine his randiness to his wives or concubines. In 2004 a beauty pageant contestant was lured to Gabon to become the lover of then 67-year old Bongo, and was stranded for nearly two weeks after she refused. A spokesman for Mr. Bongo said he was unaware of the allegations. The Peruvian Foreign Ministry said that Ivette Santa Maria, a 22-year-old Miss Peru America contestant, was invited to Gabon to be a hostess for a pageant there. In an interview, Ms. Santa Maria said that she was taken to Mr. Bongo's presidential palace hours after her Jan. 19 arrival and that as he joined her, ''he pressed a button and some sliding doors opened, revealing a large bed.'' She said, ''I told him I was not a prostitute, that I was a Miss Peru.'' She fled and guards offered to drive her to a hotel. Without money to pay the bill, however, she was stranded in Gabon for 12 days until international women's groups and others intervened.
[Africans are famous for women's rights ...]