By Sandrine Akeabeh
Equatorial Guinea’s President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema has marked the world’s record of the longest serving president in power.
The 77 year-old leader came to power on August 3, 1979 through a coup d’état, where he overthrew his uncle, Francisco Macias Nguema.
Since Teodoro Obiang’s accession to power, his regime has been marred by numerous attempted coup d’états.
The most recent attempted coup to overthrow the leader whom many call a dictator, was in December 2017, where more than 130 citizens and foreigners were seemingly sentenced to life imprisonment.
Obiang also claims to have foiled at least ten coup attempts and assassinations in Equatorial Guinea throughout his presidency. He is said to have groomed his son Teodorin, currurent vice president, to rule the small Central African nation.
Despite the criticisms in Obiang Nguema’s four-decade leadership, Equatorial Guinea has remained an oil rich state with one of the highest GDPs in Africa, according to the UN.
As Equatoguineans celebrate with their president, accusations of corruption and abuse of power still mar his presidency.
President Teodoro Obiang is not the only long-time serving president in Central Africa. Other Presidents such as Paul Biya of Cameroon, Idriss Déby of Chad and Deniss Sassou Nguesso of Congo-Brazzaville are still holding tight to power, largely against the will of the people in most cases.