By Ismail Abdulaziz, NAN
The Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are holding a meeting on Thursday in Abuja on the political situation in the Niger Republic.
The leaders are to decide on the next lines of action after the series of proposition made to the military junta in Niger to restore democratic governance in that member country.
President Bola Tinubu, who is the current Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, is hosting the leaders at the State House.
An outstanding decision earlier taken on the Heads was the military intervention proposed after a seven days ultimatum to the junta who overthrow President Mohamed Bazoum.
Six days after the July 26, the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government at a meeting in Abuja, called for the immediate release and reinstatement of Bazoum as the legitimate Head of State and Government of the Republic of Niger.
The leaders also rejected any form of purported resignation by Bazoum and declared him as the only recognised and elected President by ECOWAS, the African Union and the international community.
‘‘In this regard, only official acts of President Bazoum or his duly-mandated officials will be recognised by ECOWAS,’’ they said.
The leaders expressed strong condemnation of the attempted overthrow of constitutional order in Niger, and the illegal detention of Bazoum, as well as members of his family and government.
They demanded full restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Niger and considered the illegal detention of Bazoum as a hostage situation, holding the coupists solely responsible for his safety and that of his family and government.
Presidents Patrice Talon of Benin Republic, Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, Adama Barrow of The Gambia, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Embalo of Guinea Bissau, Macky Sall of Senegal, Faure Gnassingbé of Togo attended the Summit while the Presidents of Cape Verde, Liberia, Niger and Sierra Leone were represented.