The eldest son of Gabon President Ali Bongo, Noureddin Bongo, has been appointed "coordinator of presidential affairs".
Following his appointment as a senior government official, his primary responsibility is "to assist the President of the Republic in the conduct of all affairs of the State."
The appointment sees Noureddin Bongo become the right-hand man to his father Ali Bongo, who came to power in 2009.
You will recall that Ali Bongo came into power in 2009 after taking over office from his father, Omar Bongo, who led the country for 42 years.
Critics and opposition parties have accused the Bongo family of wanting to turn the presidency into an 'inheritance' and prepping Noureddin Bongo to take over power from his ailing father, Ali Bongo, who has ruled the country for over ten years.
Following the backlash from critics, the office of the presidency has defended its actions, saying that the appointment of the president's son as a top presidential aide was as a result of his competence and experience.
The 27-year-old Noureddin Bongo Valentin was appointed last weekend as the general coordinator of Presidential Affairs, to "assist the President of the Republic in the conduct of all State affairs," a government statement said.
The presidency also denied claims by the opposition that appointment of the president's first son to such a crucial position was so that he could take over office from his ailing father.
You will also recall that Gabonese president, Ali Bongo spent months abroad after suffering a stroke last year.
In remarks to the media, presidential spokesman, Jessye Ella Ekogha, said the president needed people he could trust to be close to him in order to execute affairs of the state hence the appointment effectively.
Ekogha said in defence of the appointment of Noureddine: "Why was Mr Noureddine BONGO VALENTIN appointed to such a position? For two reasons. One, he has all the skills required.
"I remind you that he graduated from two of the most prestigious institutions in the world, the Eton College, the Institute of Oriental and African Studies, the London School of Economics in particular.
"And that he has solid professional experience – he was Director-General of Olam Gabon, the largest private company in the country – and perfect knowledge of public affairs and the functioning of the state.
"First, in Gabon, in the past, we have already experienced such a situation. Then, if we look elsewhere in the world, we see that it is a common thing. An example? I give you two.
"The president of the world's leading power, the United States, Donald Trump, has his main allies in daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, both occupying important official positions in the White House."
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Header Image Credit: Al Jazeera