Page last updated at 10:22 GMT, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 11:22 UK

Gabon teacher not mourning Bongo

The late Gabonese President Omar Bongo

A Gabonese teacher has told the BBC why she is not mourning veteran leader Omar Bongo, who has died after 42 years in power. Wamie, who lives in the coastal town of Gamba, south of Libreville, told the Network Africa programme the country must change and cannot belong to just one family.

What really bothered me at first was the reaction of the government: They didn't really tell us the truth.

They kept hiding it. That's not fair for us because we should know.

I'm glad to be honest with you. I know that you don't really rejoice from someone's death.

But it's a kind of joy because after 40 years, I'm 42 now, I think that we must have been waiting for that for a long time; we've been waiting to see another face.

Insult to intelligence

It's mad because people say that he has been a good president. I know that if you've been a good president, you can stay there for five, at least 10 years.

You don't stay there for 42 years, just because you're a good person.

When people say that he should have stayed there for even longer it's an insult to Gabonese intelligence. Any Gabonese can rule the country even better or worse.

When you're a Gabonese person you don't feel that the country's rich because all the wealth, all the oil has been retained by maybe 2% of the population; so I don't think that's fair and I think that should change.

It's about time the country moved on; it's about time things changed here; the country cannot belong to just one family.

Everyone's talking about [elections]; everyone's ready for that. I only hope we can vote freely.

Print Sponsor

Gabon's Omar Bongo confirmed dead
08 Jun 09 |  Africa
Obituary: Omar Bongo
08 Jun 09 |  Africa
The murky world of Omar Bongo
21 May 09 |  Africa
Lawsuit on Africa leaders 'valid'
06 May 09 |  Africa
Bongo's 40 years of ruling Gabon
28 Nov 07 |  Africa
Country profile: Gabon
26 Jan 11 |  Country profiles

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific