April 20, 2024 6:20 am
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ECOWAS Chair Slams Unacceptable Development in Niger Republic

The Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Bola Tinubu, has described as unacceptable, the unfolding development in Niger Republic.

“All players in the Republic of Niger, the leadership of the ECOWAS Region and all lovers of democracy around the world will not tolerate any situation that incapacitates the democratically-elected government of the country,” Tinubu, the President of Nigeria, said in a swift reaction to the detainment of Niger President Mohamed Bazoum by members of the Presidential Guard, who have been given an “ultimatum” by the army.

In response to the unfolding crisis in Niger Republic, the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Bola Tinubu, has expressed his strong disapproval. President Tinubu, who is also the President of Nigeria, stated that all stakeholders in Niger and supporters of democracy worldwide will not accept any action that weakens the democratically-elected government in the country. This comes after President Mohamed Bazoum was detained by members of the Presidential Guard, who have been given an ultimatum by the army. President Tinubu’s swift response demonstrates the seriousness of the situation.

Earlier on Wednesday, disgruntled members of the guard sealed off access to the President’s residence and offices, and after talks broke down “refused to release the President.”

The crisis took a dangerous turn on Wednesday when dissatisfied members of the Presidential Guard blocked access to the President’s residence and offices. Despite attempts to negotiate, the members refused to release President Bazoum, further escalating the tension.

In a statement personally signed by President Tinubu, he affirmed that ECOWAS leadership will not tolerate any actions that hinder the smooth functioning of legitimate authority in Niger or any part of West Africa. President Tinubu expressed his commitment to protecting and nurturing democracy in the region. He assured that he is in close consultation with other leaders in the region, and together, they will defend and preserve constitutional order.

President Tinubu, as the Chairperson of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, emphasized that Nigeria stands firmly with the elected government in Niger. He also conveyed the resolute stance of other regional leaders, asserting that they will not waver in their commitment to defend and uphold the constitutional order.

The incident in Niger Republic has occurred just two weeks after President Tinubu, in his role as the new chair of the 15-member regional body, stressed that military takeovers would not be tolerated in West Africa. This follows a series of coups in three West African countries, including Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea. However, attempts in The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau were successfully foiled. Additionally, neighboring Chad experienced an unconstitutional change of government following the death of Lieutenant General Mahamat Idriss Déby, who died from injuries sustained in clashes with rebels in April 2021.

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