President Bola Tinubu, the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and also the President of Nigeria, has expressed strong disapproval of the unfolding developments in Niger Republic. The detainment of Niger President Mohamed Bazoum by members of the Presidential Guard, who have been given an “ultimatum” by the army, is considered unacceptable.
President Tinubu emphasized that all stakeholders in Niger, as well as the leadership of ECOWAS and democracy, advocates globally, will not tolerate any actions that undermine the democratically-elected government in the country.
The suspected coup attempt involved disgruntled members of the guard who sealed off access to the President’s residence and offices. After failed talks, they refused to release President Bazoum, who was democratically elected in 2021, taking the reins of one of Africa’s poorest and historically coup-prone countries.
In response to the situation, President Tinubu swiftly issued a personally signed statement, asserting that ECOWAS leadership will not accept any actions that disrupt the smooth functioning of legitimate authority in Niger or any part of West Africa.
He reaffirmed his commitment to protect democracy in the region, in close consultation with other leaders. As the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Tinubu made it clear that Nigeria stands firmly with the elected government in Niger, and ECOWAS leaders are resolute in defending and preserving constitutional order.
It’s worth noting that this development occurred about two weeks after President Tinubu, the newly-appointed chair of the 15-member regional body, emphasized that military takeovers would not be tolerated in West Africa.
In recent times, West Africa has witnessed several coups and attempted coups in countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Chad, which has heightened concerns about the region’s democratic stability. President Tinubu’s strong stance aims to protect democracy and stability in the region and deter any attempts to undermine legitimate governments.