Ten days after returning to the Ivory Coast, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo will travel this Sunday, June 27, to Mama, his hometown 300 km from Abidjan, in the center-west of the Côte d ‘Ivory and not far from the town of Gagnoa. Festivities and parties are on the program for the return of the child from the country.
From our special envoy to mother,François Hume-Ferkatadji
Laurent Gbagbo must first go to the neighboring village of Blouzon to meditate on his mother’s grave, who died in custody in The Hague, then he finds his family in his mother a few kilometers away. Mother, who is therefore preparing to celebrate this long-awaited return.
In Mama’s main square, which bears the name of the former president, a group of women from several surrounding villages, and even from Yamoussoukro, are already waiting for “Woody” to return to his homeland.
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Some wear T-shirts that carry the image of “Opah”, “the father” in beté, on which welcome messages are addressed to Laurent Gbagbo. Others are dressed in ocher loincloth dress, a fabric known especially at the moment “Allons à Gagno”, the capital of the Ghô region. “I want to see the body of my president to know if he really is in Gagnoa,” said one of them. “It’s joy, we are happy, we are animated by joy. That’s why we came before he came. We are waiting for that, adds another.
On the other side of the square, we are busy installing arbors and adjusting the sound system. Hervé Goubo carries two large metal cylinders on his shoulders: “What we do is make people sit down. But you know, with the size of what’s going on, not everyone has room. The 2,000 seats are not enough for all these people ”.
Women, children and men will dance
Although the information only reaches the organizers in a fluid way regarding the program for Laurent Gbagbo’s visit, the members of the local organizing committee promise that there will be a crowd for this return to the Bété country: “There are women who will dance, it there are men who will dance, there are children who will dance. And then in this country, when someone comes out of prison, there are also things to do ”. “Some things”, ie traditional methods, purification or “cleaning” by Laurent Gbagbo, but again the program is not clearly defined: “It is the competence and the choice to be head of state, to the elders. It is they who will decide whether it is public or private ”.
Among Laurent Gbagbo’s supporters, many have noticed the former president’s state of fatigue. Groups of volunteers have already been formed to ensure the safety of the gathering and Laurent Gbagbos to prevent the crowd from moving, while the police will be present in large numbers.
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