By Our Correspondent
Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS), President Bola Tinubu, says it is crucial to prioritise diplomatic negotiations to resolve the crisis in Niger Republic.
According to the Nigerian President, the regional bloc must engage the coup leaders in the neighbouring country to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum.
Tinubu spoke on Thursday in Abuja when he declared opened ECOWAS second extraordinary session on the situation in Niger Republic.
He said, “More so, in reaffirming our relentless commitment to democracy, human rights, and the well-being of the people of Niger, it is crucial that we prioritise 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.”
Tinubu said the coup in neighbouring Niger has far-reaching effects on democratically constituted governments in the sub-region.
“More specifically, as leaders of our respective nations, we must recognize that the political crisis in Niger not only poses a threat to the stability of the nation but also has far-reaching implications for the entire West African 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 said.
After Tinubu’s remarks, the meeting entered a closed-door session.
Important decisions are expected from today’s gathering in Abuja.
Struggling to stem a cascade of coups among its members since 2020, the bloc gave the troops who seized power on July 26 until last Sunday to reinstate 63-year-old Bazoum or face the potential use of force.
Nigeria has also cut off electricity supply to Nigeria amid a flurry of economic sanctions including border closure.
But the coup leaders remained defiant and the deadline passed without action.