Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba made a surprise appearance Saturday at a meeting of one of his closest collaborators, sketched a dance step and launched to thousands of supporters: “I am here and will always be there”.
The head of state, who suffered a stroke more than 11 months ago, had appeared a little more often in public since his return two weeks ago from a long private London where he underwent “routine medical examinations” and “continued his rehabilitation”.
President Bongo of Gabon made a surprise appearance public yesterday where he addressed supporters.
Mr Bongo suffered a stroke in Oct 2018 & has been seen a handful of times since.
His Head of Cabinet Brice Laccruche Alihanga, urged supporters to vote for him in 2023. pic.twitter.com/GX0aUiawi2
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) October 7, 2019
But he appeared without being announced Saturday before thousands of supporters at the stadium Nzeng Ayong Libreville, at the closing meeting of a tour of the country of one of his closest collaborators, his Chief of Staff Brice Laccruche Alihanga who presented himself as his “messenger”.
“You can not know how happy it is for me to be among you,” Ali Bongo told fans who chanted his name. “I had been dreaming about this moment for quite some time and it happened (…), we have to thank God and I also want to thank you all for the support you gave me, especially during difficult times,” he said. he continued, obviously moved. “I’m here,” he hammered four times, before concluding, “I’m here and I’ll always be there.”
Watch video below of him struggling to walk whiles using a walking stick: