President Bola Tinubu, who also serves as the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has expressed deep concern over the unfolding “mutiny” scenario in Niger Republic.
Tinubu emphasized that the regional body will not tolerate any actions that undermine democracy in the region.
Reports emerged on Wednesday morning of heavy military presence at the presidential palace in Niamey, Niger’s capital city, raising fears of a possible coup d’état.
President Mohamed Bazoum was reportedly held hostage by soldiers, and his access to his office and residence was restricted, indicating a critical situation that could threaten the democratically-elected government.
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In response to the troubling developments, President Tinubu issued a terse statement asserting ECOWAS’s commitment to upholding democratic principles and preserving constitutional order in Niger and throughout West Africa.
He said, “The ECOWAS leadership will not accept any action that impedes the smooth functioning of legitimate authority in Niger or any part of West Africa.”
President Tinubu further assured that he was in close consultation with other leaders in the region to address the situation effectively.
He expressed Nigeria’s unwavering support for the democratically-elected government in Niger and conveyed the resolute stance of regional leaders in defending and nurturing democratic institutions.
“As the chairperson of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, I state without equivocation that Nigeria stands firmly with the elected government in Niger and equally conveys the absolute resolve of leaders in our sub-region that we shall not waiver or flinch on our stand to defend and preserve constitutional order,” President Tinubu affirmed.
Niger has faced significant instability over the years, experiencing four coups since gaining independence from France in 1960.