Morocco: I am now fine, Ali Bongo tells Gabonese
Gabon’s ailing President Ali Bongo this week addressed his citizens for the first time since suffering a stroke on October 24.
In a New Year’s message recorded in Morocco and broadcast by state-run media, Bongo expressed his gratitude to Gabonese and recounted the events leading to his trip to Morocco.
“It is true that I have been through a difficult period, as sometimes happens in life,” he said in a video recorded in Rabat.
Speaking straight to the camera in the new video, Bongo read his message seemingly effortlessly, even as his head and hands display slight movement.
“Today, as you can see, I am better and I am preparing to meet you again soon,” Bongo said in the video.
The 59-year-old, who fell ill on October 24 at an economic forum, arrived in Morocco in December following treatment in Saudi Arabia for an illness that has not been officially revealed.
Oil-rich Gabon has been ruled by the Bongo family for 50 years with current President Ali Bongo, in office since 2009, taking over following the death of his father who had held power for 42 years.
Ali Bongo was narrowly re-elected in 2016 after beating opposition challenger Jean Ping by a few thousand votes.