On Life, love and Politics

"Random musings about Life, love and Politics. Just my open diary on the events going on in the world as I see it."

Homage To A Departed Friend June 16, 2009

Filed under: Articles in English/Les articles anglaise — kikenileda @ 9:20 AM

President Paul Biya and the First Lady, Chantal Biya today in
Libreville pay last homage to departed Gabonese President Omar Bongo

President Paul Biya and the First Lady Chantal Biya will today in
Libreville join scores of other world leaders to pay homage to the
departed President of Gabon, Omar Bongo Ondimba. The casket of the
departed Head of State has been placed at the Presidential Palace in
Libreville since last Thursday and thousands of mourners have been
taking turns in paying their last respects. President Paul Biya and his
wife Chantal Biya arrived in Libreville yesterday afternoon and on hand
to welcome them was the interim President Madame Rose Francine Rogombé.

 Also present at the Léon Mba International Airport to welcome
Cameroon’s First Couple were hundreds of Cameroonians resident in
Gabon. President Paul Biya and Chantal Biya were later escorted to the
Cite CEMAC, which will be their official residence during their stay in
Libreville. According to the official programme, today’s funeral
activities begin at eight o’clock this morning with the foreign
delegations leading the queue in the final homage to the departed
Gabonese President at the Presidential Palace where his mortal remains
have been laid. President Paul Biya and Chantal Biya are expected to
lay a wreath at the casket of the departed Omar Bongo Ondimba.

Shortly after the arrival of Cameroon’s First Couple at their residence
in Libreville yesterday evening, President Paul Biya received a number
of Gabonese dignitaries in audience. The first to be received was Prime
Minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong, followed by the Defence Minister Ali Bongo
Ondimba, the Director of Cabinet Pascaline Bongo Ondimba, the Minister
of State Casimir Oyemba and others. Presidents Idriss Deby of Chad and
François Bozzize of the Republic of Central Africa paid a courtesy call
on president Paul Biya at his resident in Libreville.

Since last Thursday when the casket of Omar Bongo Ondimba arrived in
Libreville, the entire nation has been paying their last respects to
their fallen leader by taking turns at the Presidential Palace where
the corpse has been laid in State. All the television channels in Gabon
have been broadcasting, round the clock the funeral ceremony at the
Presidential Palace in Libreville. Before the corpse leaves today for
his hometown in Franceville where he will be finally buried next
Thursday, there will be military honours before their departure to the
Léon Mba international airport for the final flight to the Mvengué
airport in Franceville. Informed sources in Libreville say there was a
final consensus engineered by the senior brother of the departed
President on the site of his final resting place. Given the matrilineal
social organisation in most Gabonese tribes, there was a debate between
his paternal and maternal family on where to bury the departed
President. It was decided that his final resting place will be in his
personal residence in Franceville.

Born in December 30, 1935 in the Gabonese Province of Upper Ogoué, the
departed President always said he was not born on a hospital bed, in
reference to his village life. His father, a farmer died seven years
after his birth. As a last child in a family of twelve he affirmed his
solitary and independent character at that early age by defying the
instructions of his guardian. Instead of going to France for studies he
left all alone for Brazzaville and registered at the Lycée technique.
Later he became the only African to do his military service at the
French military Airforce base in Chad. On his return to Gabon he joined
the ministry of Foreign Affairs and rose rapidly. At the age of 32, he
became President of the Republic on December 2, 1967 after the death of
President Léon Mba. On March 14, 2009, Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba, his
wife, died in Rabat, after a protracted illness. A short while later,
on May 6, 2009 the presidency of the Republic of Gabon, on the orders
of President Omar Bongo Ondimba announced that “all presidential
audiences have been suspended till further notice”. On June 8, 2009 the
entire world was shocked with the confirmation of his death in


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