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Africa News of Monday, 24 May 2021


Africans react as 'ailing' Gabon president struggles to walk to meet UK PM

Bongo met Johnson at No. 10 Downing Street play videoBongo met Johnson at No. 10 Downing Street

• People on social media are concerned over frail nature of Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba

• Bongo was captured in a viral video trudging as he met UK Prime Minister in London

• He suffered a stroke in 2019 which affected his mobility but he refused to relinquish power

Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 20 for talks at No. 10 Downing Street.

Bongo wrote about their interaction: "Great meeting and great discussion today in London with PM Boris Johnson.

#Gabon and #UK are strong allies and are united in protecting nature and fighting climate change!"

He accompanied it with a photo of him and the PM in front of the infamous black door.

But on social media, a short video clip of Bongo's arrival at the PM's residence has triggered reactions as to why the Gabon president continues to hold on to power.

Bongo holding a walking stick with an aide close behind is seen trudging along to meet with Johnson. His aide takes the stick as Bongo reaches Boris and they exchange greetings.

Later the aide will support him as he climbs two steps to enter the PM's residence for further engagements.

"So the over 2 million people of Gabon are being led by a person who is no longer physically fit. Africa and its people," one Twitter user wrote.

"When you are this sick, from a stroke...isn't it wise to leave power..? Where does the greed end? Sometimes you just gotta walk away, you'd still be catered for by the state, you got nothing to lose...#Gabon," another wondered.

Bongo suffered a stroke in 2018 through to 2019 during which time he received treatment abroad notably in Morocco and the United Kingdom.

Despite his state of health, he continues to execute his mandate as president with analysts saying he could contest for a new term when next elections are held.

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