Tinubu affirms unwavering support for Niger’s return path to peaceful democracy

President Tinubu chairing the ECOWAS meeting

*ECOWAS sends unanimous message to Niger’s military rulership

Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Bola Tinubu, has affirmed the regional blocs’ steadfast commitment in supporting the people of Niger’s journey towards peace and democratic stability.

In his closing remarks at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit on the socio-political situation in Niger Republic on Thursday in Abuja, President Bola Tinubu expressed his appreciation for member states’ dedication toward all efforts in resolving the challenges of Niger.

The Nigerian leader emphasized that the remarkable outcome of the summit, which authorized the standby deployment of ECOWAS troops to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger, attests to the power of collaboration and unity among ECOWAS member states.

“We have reaffirmed our commitment to the people of Niger and to the progress of our entire ECOWAS Community. We will continue with that. From the Communiqué of this extraordinary summit, no option is taken off the table, including the use of force as the last resort. If we don’t do it, no one else will do it for us. We remain steadfast in supporting Niger in a journey towards peace and democratic stability.

“The road ahead will undoubtedly have challenges, but I firmly believe that with our collective resolve, we can navigate these obstacles and chart a path towards peace and prosperity for Nigeriens and citizens of ECOWAS. May our collective efforts pave the way for a brighter future for the Nigerien people and for all Africans. May ECOWAS continue to thrive as a beacon of unity, cooperation, and progress in the region,” the ECOWAS Authority Chairperson firmly stated.

At the end of the Summit, the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State had issued a unanimous directive to restore constitutional order in Niger.

An official communique read by Dr. Omar Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission, said the leaders directed the Committee of the Chiefs of Defence Staff to activate the ECOWAS standby force with all its elements immediately.

The leaders also issued a stern warning to member states whose actions, whether direct or indirect, impede the peaceful resolution of the Niger crisis. The communique emphasized that such actions would entail consequences within the ECOWAS community.

Underscoring its continued commitment to restoring constitutional order through peaceful means, the leaders noted that all diplomatic efforts made by ECOWAS in resolving the crisis have been repelled at various intervals by the military rulership of the Republic of Niger.

As the one-week ultimatum for the restoration of constitutional order expired, the ECOWAS Authority made the following decisions:

(A) Reiterates its strong condemnation of the attempted coup d’etat and the continued illegal detention of President Mohammed Bazoom, his family and members of his government.

(B) Further condemns the condition in which President Bazoum is being detained and holds the CMSP fully and solely responsible for the safety, security and physical integrity of President Bazoum, and members of his family and government.

(C) Upholds all measures and principles agreed upon by the Extraordinary Summit held on Niger on 30th of July, 2023.

(D) Underscores the determination of the ECOWAS Authority to keep all options on the table for the peaceful resolution of the crisis.

(E) Enforces all measures, in particular, border closures and strict travel bans as well as assets freezes on all persons or groups of individuals whose actions hinder all peaceful efforts aimed at ensuring the smooth and complete restoration of Niger’s constitutional order.

Furthermore, the West African leaders called on the African Union to endorse their decisions on the Niger crisis while also urging partner countries and institutions, including the United Nations, to support ECOWAS in its effort to ensure a quick restoration of constitutional order in Niger Republic.

The President of the ECOWAS Commission was further tasked with overseeing the implementation of sanctions stemming from the initial Extraordinary meeting in Abuja.