By Ismail Abdulaziz, VON
President Bola Tinubu has charged member Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS to continue to consider all options in finding a peaceful resolution to the Niger Republic political crises.
He stated this at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit on the Socio-Political Situation in the Republic of Niger on Thursday in Abuja.
Tinubu, who is the Chair of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, said that the decisions must be to the benefits of the people of Niger and the sub-region.
‘’It is essential to evaluate the effectiveness of our interventions and identify any gaps or challenges that may have hindered progress. Only through this comprehensive assessment can we collectively chart a sustainable path towards lasting peace, stability, and prosperity in Niger.
‘’Moreso, in reaffirming our relentless commitment to democracy, human rights, and the well-being of the people of Niger, it is crucial that we prioritize diplomatic negotiations and dialogue as the bedrock of our approach.
‘’We must engage all parties involved, including the coup leaders, in earnest discussions to convince them to relinquish power and reinstate President Bazoum. It is our duty to exhaust all avenues of engagement to ensure a swift return to constitutional governance in Niger.’’
The president, however, urged the leaders to recognise that the political crisis in Niger republic poses a threat to the stability of the nation and a far-reaching implication for the sub-region.
‘’By remaining steadfast in our adherence to the principles of democracy, good governance, and the rule of law, we can restore peace, stability, and prosperity in the Republic of Niger, thereby fostering an environment conducive to growth and development for all.’’
He added that the summit would be a defining moment towards a stronger, more resilience and integrated West Africa.
‘’Let us seize this opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of our fellow Africans as we strive to build a future defined by peace, progress, and prosperity,’’ he said.
Tinubu commended the various envoys deployed on mediation mission to Niger, Libya and other partner countries.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in attendance at the summit are Presidents Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco of Guinea Bissau, and Everiste Ndayishimiye of Burundi.
Others are Presidents Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani of Mauritania, Nana Akofo-Ado of Ghana, Macky Sall of Senegal, and Patrice Talon of Benin Republic.
Also present were retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Babagana Kingibe and the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad III.
NAN reports that on July 28,in a swift response to military coup in Niger Republic, ECOWAS enforced a no-flight zone over the country.
The decision was announced by the ECOWAS, at an urgent meeting following the increasing tension stirred by the military actors who are attempting to take over in Niger.
This significant move which includes air and land border closure, is seen as a crucial reaction to the recent ascendancy of the junta, which has stirred significant unrest in the country and poses a threat to political stability within the region.
The ECOWAS leadership believes that the imposition of a no-flight zone will help curb the junta’s influence and hinder any potential allies from providing aerial support, even as leaders of the coup fear that the regional body could stage an imminent military intervention in the capital of the Sahel country.
In addition to the no-flight zone, the regional body has agreed on immediate financial sanctions over the coup, and has given the junta a week to cede power, while noting that a use of force has not been ruled out.
ECOWAS also insisted that President Mohamed Bazoum remains recognized as president of Niger, and called upon member states and the international community to uphold and respect these decision, in an effort to help restore peace and stability in the republic.
Speaking at the emergency meeting which he presided over today, President Tinubu denounced the coup by military leaders in Niger Republic, saying Africa has come of age.