We Should Prioritise Diplomatic Negotiations, Dialogue In Resolving Niger Political Crisis, Tinubu Tells Other ECOWAS Leaders

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Tinubu said this at the ongoing extraordinary meeting of ECOWAS leaders over the recent military coup in Niger Republic being held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu has stressed the need to prioritise diplomatic negotiations and dialogue in resolving the political crisis in the Republic of Niger.

Tinubu, who is the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), on Thursday, noted that the political crisis in Niger poses a threat to the stability of the region.

Tinubu said this at the ongoing extraordinary meeting of ECOWAS leaders over the recent military coup in Niger Republic being held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The summit will deliberate on developments in the Niger Republic following the July 26 coup that ousted the democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum.

The ultimatum given to the coup leaders by ECOWAS lapsed on Sunday without any favourable response from the military junta.

Tinubu said, “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.

“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.”

Lamenting the refusal of the military junta to meet the demands of ECOWAS, Tinubu said, “As you may recall, we called on the junta to rescind its decision of toppling a legitimate government. We proceeded to impose sanctions with the hope that this resolute measure would serve as a catalyst for the restoration of the constitutional order in Niger.

“Regrettably, the seven-day ultimatum we issued during the first Summit has not yielded the desired outcome. We have also made diligent efforts through the deployment of various ECOWAS mediation teams, to engage the military junta for a peaceful resolution of the political situation. One of the facilitators, former Head of State of Nigeria, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, would update us on the outcome of his mission to Niamey.

“Similarly, as part of coherent diplomatic initiatives, Special Envoys were dispatched to non-ECOWAS nations, particularly Libya and Algeria. During these engagements, the Envoy designated for Libya had the privilege of an audience with the President of Libya.

“This discourse resulted in an unequivocal expression of support for the resolutions adopted by ECOWAS aimed at restoring constitutional governance in Niger. In Algeria, the Envoy was received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the President of the country. These initiatives are aimed at presenting a cohesive and united stance regarding the ongoing circumstances in Niger, thus showing a collaborative and concerted approach among African nations.”

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