#COVID19: Gabon Citizens Coalition Petitions Lawmakers Over State Of Emergency Extension

COPIL-CITOYEN has called on Gabonese lawmakers to stop ‘supporting’ the executive in making laws that stifle citizen freedom.

The Gabonese citizen coalition, COPIL-CITOYEN, has accused the country’s parliamentarians of bad faith and “being accomplices to a government that uses the COVID-19 pandemic to impose injustice on the populations.”

COPIL-CITOYEN lashed out at the lawmakers in a communique issued on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022 following the passage of a bill on Tuesday by the Parliament for the extension of the health state of emergency occasioned by the COVID-19 by 45 days.

“COPIL-CITOYEN notes and regrets that the Members of Parliament of Gabon, two thirds of whom are militants of the ruling Parti Democratique Gabonais (PDG), who include the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate, and who are linked by partisan solidarity aimed at putting the Gabonese people through all the injustices and pressures possible by refusing them the right to know how the hundreds of billions accorded to Gabon for the Covid-19 are managed,” the communique read. 

The citizens coalition made allusion to the non-justification of how €499.2 million, which is about 327.4 billion FCFA, received from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and African Development Bank (AfDB) was used.

The citizen coalition recalled that it had contacted the National Assembly and Senate by calling on the two institutions to show ethical proof by playing their role as defined by Article 36 of the Constitution.

“Parliament, it should be recalled, has as its mission, among others, to control government action and not to cover embezzlement as revealed by the report of the parliamentary investigation which the National Assembly has refused to publish,” COPIL-CITOYEN said in the communique.

It called on Gabonese to challenge their elected representatives to sensitise them on their responsibilities which they should assume “on behalf of the populations whom they are supposed to represent” and the costs linked to the extension of the health state of emergency notably the cost of PCR tests.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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