Libreville (Gabon), June 7th, 2013
Right of reply to the open letter from Mr. Richard Attias which appeared in Gabonese newspapers "Gabon Matin" on 5 June 2013 and L’Union on 7 June 2013 and was addressed to the movement " Ça suffit comme ça "
Following the announcement by all media, including those in the tank for the regime in power, of the discovery in Libreville (in the premises of the Professional Training Center Basile Ondimba), of a 50kg bag of human organs, you have deemed it appropriate to send to us an open attempt to discredit our civic engagement aimed, among other things, to put an end to barbaric practices such as human sacrifices which are now commonplace and standardized in our country.
Yes! We intend to take advantage of the opportunity afforded us by your New York Forum Africa - financed at great expense by the Gabonese taxpayers that we are - to make our criticisms and objections heard; our cries, our tears, our pain, our indignation. "Your" (?) International community (personal?) is influential. Certainly. Of good character? Only in Gabon can individual get away with such an insult to the people struggling for their dignity and survival.
The fact that a “celebrity” manager who makes a living by organizing expensive gatherings of "hundreds of business figures, politicians, Nobel Prize winners ..." would buys a full page of a newspaper to send us an open letter is an implicit recognition of our potential.
Mr. Richard Attias,
You get a presumption of intelligence. So, to your open letter, the eminent communicator you are, certainly considered appropriate to "get down" to what you believed to be the level of the Gabonese people. But Mr. Attias, all Gabonese are not at the same low level as your friends predators of the Republic! Sincerely, we suggest that you send us an open letter that is better constructed and more serious.
For your information, the Front of Gabonese Indignants (FIG) is, as its name suggests, a front. It brings together around a common purpose, entities with profiles and centers of interest that are varied: associations, political parties, trade unions, professional associations, non-affiliated individuals ... All the social body of our country is represented in FIG. It is not the fact of a single collective such as “Ça Suffit Comme Ça.” Come defend your imposture at the Indignants Forum.
You accuse us of having besmirched your person and that of your wife, and you boast of having made us afraid to debate you. We would like that you show us one press release from the Indignants Front which took the public debate and turned it into a personal debate, and remind us in what conditions you officially invited the Indignants Front to a debate. You wish to debate? We're ready. Wherever and whenever you want. Including within your forum, if that reassures you. Given your apparent denial of the Gabonese genius, we offer you this delightful opportunity to prove to our people and to "your" international opinion that you're right.
Is it gossip when we regret that the security and defence forces have as their single task, not to ensure the safety of people and property, but to serve as enforcers of a dictatorship?
The content of your open letter in itself, justifies our strong opposition to your sham and your determination to tear the pages of the ledger of our history that we are writing; when you pretend to think about Gabon in our place and better than us. Indeed, by hanging out with the dark forces which pay you handsomely with the development money that is stolen from us, you end up in the same mental disposition as theirs. You, yourself, recognize that your forum would cost nearly $ 4 million, or about 2.5 billion CFA francs. With that kind of money, do you know how many classrooms and hospital beds the Gabonese government could afford? Certainly not, because you are perfectly "impermeable" to such considerations.
Your client Ali Bongo shouts loudly that Gabon is an emerging country. We would not be surprised that you relayed this childish assumption to your "international community" (sic). As you postulate, without providing any illustration and without describing any tangibility, that from "exchanges" and "experience sharing" during your forum, " goodwill, investment decisions, are born; but above all, solutions to problems when they are posed in an environment of intellectual honesty and positive and constructive "critical spirit.
Your comments illustrate abundantly the singular respect you have for criticism. They also reflect your degree of "intellectual honesty" when, taking care not to specify which ones, because they do not exist, you declare that the New York Forum Africa 2012 "helped initiate many development projects, some which will be officially launched in the coming weeks, let alone the multiple sectors of the local economy that benefit from this event and its induced effects." Yet, it is blindingly obvious: the 5 points of the final declaration of NYFA 2012 are a tangle of vague rhetoric, peremptory truisms and pious nonsense without any identification; of which leading economists, financiers and decision makers of the world realize the feat of being "concrete" without advancing a single figure. We understand why you say that "Gabon is a business model."
On May 10, you, with incredible aplomb, dared to declare that there had been "the creation of 9,000 companies in Gabon in 2012." You probably wanted to talk about "9,000 business" of ritual crimes, because it is the only area where Ali and Sylvia Bongo’s Gabon is truly emerging.
"Mouth of honey, heart of gall," says a Tuareg proverb. Mr. Richard Attias, who do you think you are? Do you think that we are PDG partisans immured in the contradictions of the oral tradition, because they heard these words hammered by those from whom they pick up the crumbs, and who boast that Gabon is an emerging country while they do not even have the lowest common denominator of basic infrastructure, that they import their food, that they have water everywhere except at the faucets, that they have oil (your new business), uranium, wind and sun, but electricity is nevertheless rationed daily, as predators at the head of the state deliberately sabotage public education for the continuation of the dynasty, that the decay of our health system is such that these predators are forced go for healthcare and even die abroad?
Who do you think you are, Mr. Richard Attias, to despise and provoke the protest movement of a country that is not yours, and of which you only know the ostentatious glitz of the presidential palace? Except to consider - and this is clear – that you have taken up the cause of the oligarchy that has confiscated our legitimacy with violence and obstinacy.
Who could make you believe that you have any legitimacy to teach us and pretend put us in our place? Mr. Richard Attias, remember this African wisdom: "A canoe is never too big to capsize." So, beware!
You are not the first multinational mercenary to pretend to dictate our opinions and choices of actions on the grounds that you eat in the hand of a negro king who considers Gabon as his inheritance, and progressive Gabonese as heretics only good for the irons, the gallows, the flagellum. Gabon will never be Morocco (a kingdom), and Ali Bongo will never be anybody’s king or theocratic commander.
Finally, considering the extreme conceit of your open letter, we cannot conclude without expressing our deep remorse for having, for a time given to you - wrongly - some stature.
We do not salute you.
For the citizen Movement « Ça suffit comme ça »
Mr Marc ONA ESSANGUI
2009 Goldman Prize Winner