Omar Bongo University (UOB) PhD students are fed up with the situation they have been experiencing for several months. In an open letter, they questioned the Head of State on September 5 about the “Package Application” of the Gabonese National Stock Exchange Agency (ANBG) of Decree No. 00148/PR/MERSTTENFC of June 7, 2021 defining the scholarship programs in the Gabonese Republic. Which they believe translates into a conspiracy against Ali Bongo’s moral integrity through actions that disguise his salutary commitments to Gabonese youth in ‘election promises’. Below is the full open letter from the doctoral collective to the President of the Republic.
Excellency the President of the Republic,
The great privilege of writing to you does not hide our enthusiasm that the decisive act of reparation for the damage suffered by Gabonese students in general and PhD students in particular awaits you alone. It will also appear clear to you, Mr President, that there is nothing that motivates us less in this letter company than concern for your reputation and that of the institutions of the Republic, which are at risk of a serious crime that could be committed without you Knowledge. Because we are convinced that the information has not yet reached you and want to do everything possible to hide it from you, circumvent it and file it discreetly in the drawer of oblivion, we have agreed to resort to it after exhausting all legal avenues have to make our voices heard on this initiative.
The fact is, Your Excellency, that the officials of the National Stock Exchange Agency of Gabon (ANBG) have consciously chosen not to fully apply Decree No. 00148 / PR / MERSTTENFC of June 07, 2021 establishing the stock exchange studies in the Republic of Gabon , which includes the innovative reforms of your social policies, proof of your commitment to the training of the young people you value. They made a piecemeal application of it at the students’ expense.
Despite the numerous attempts and the successive steps taken in the last two months with the Government and the General Secretariat of the Presidium of the Republic, which, moreover, have recognized the legitimacy and legality of our claims, we have hardly been able to obtain from the leaders of the ANBG a guarantee of compensation for the harm we denounce.
Also, this legal insult has reached the peak of its anomaly, which is confirmed by the categorical refusal of the ANBG officials to apply this decree, which nevertheless came into force from the academic year 2021-2022, according to the provisions of its article 31, on the pretext that the application of said decree would encounter a budget deficit. The last hope that motivates us, therefore, to denounce this blatant breach of the law, leads us to believe that once the situation has been brought to your attention, you will not hesitate to put things right by using your authority in the matter.
Mr President of the Republic, the situation we are denouncing is of such fundamental importance that the crime committed is beginning to constitute a serious attack on the sovereignty and integrity of the highest institutions of the State of which you are the guarantor.
First of all, the pretense, or rather the pretense of the budget deficit being (wrongly) supported by agency officials, for awkwardly shirking their duty appears as a pretentious questioning of the competence of policy forecasting to guide your government’s actions.
Then it constitutes an intolerable insult to the institutions responsible for examining the decree before its publication in the Official Journal n. 118 of June 10, 2021 of the application of this decree), in particular the two chambers of Parliament, with the seal of a chronic failure combined with negligence of character. These institutions would therefore, so this argument goes, be reduced to associations of unfit intellectuals or, to put it trivially, associations of the incompetent. What sacrilege it would be to venture such an assumption!
After all, the unlawful act committed by the leaders of the ANBG and fearlessly recognized by them undermines your authority and threatens your notoriety by mocking a reform that you hoped to put at the heart of your social policies.
We therefore condemn, Mr. Head of State, a conspiracy by the officials of the National Stock Exchange Agency of Gabon which, if you do not take care to curb the evil in time, threatens to jeopardize the prestige of your second seven-year term, however dedicated to youth;
We condemn an even greater conspiracy hatched against the highest institutions of the state, whose sovereignty is henceforth exercised at will by a body to which the law assigns only a role of operationalization, that is, of execution;
We denounce the disregard for the quality of the rule of law of our dear nation by the leaders of the ANBG, who take liberties with the law by allowing themselves spontaneous interference with a discretionary power that escapes the prerogatives vested in them by law;
We denounce their desire to create a harmful social climate by pushing students to their limits and awakening them to mature instincts;
Finally, we condemn a conspiracy against your moral integrity by actions which disguise in “election promises” your salutary obligations to the youth of your country so dear to you;
We firmly believe that the high regard you have for the issue of education for your young compatriots can influence your noblest feelings about our cause.
In this eager anticipation, Your Excellency, the President of the Republic, please accept our esteemed greetings.
For the collective of PhD students
Sheldon B. Ngoulou Ngavouka
Overall coordinator of the reflection group for doctoral students/UOB