Nigerian President and Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has taken decisive action to resolve the current political crisis in Niger Republic by dispatching envoys to Niamey. This follows a letter he wrote to Nigeria’s National Assembly detailing possible sanctions and military actions against the military junta that recently overthrew Niger’s democratically elected government.
The delegation, led by former Nigerian Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), also includes the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray. They left for Niamey on Thursday with the President’s directive to engage all stakeholders and work towards an amicable resolution.
President Tinubu also sent a separate delegation to Libya and Algeria to discuss the Niger crisis, reflecting the urgency with which Nigeria and ECOWAS are approaching the situation.
In a briefing at the State House in Abuja, President Tinubu emphasized the importance of democracy and regional peace, urging the delegates to work towards an African solution to the crisis. “We don’t want to hold brief for anybody. Our concern is democracy and the peace of the region,” the President said.
The extraordinary summit of the ECOWAS held last weekend in Abuja resulted in the latest actions. The measures outlined in Tinubu’s letter to the National Assembly include border closure, cutting off electricity supply to Niger, blocking goods in transit, mobilizing international support, and potentially deploying military personnel if the junta remains defiant.
General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd) expressed that the delegation would meet with the coup leaders in Niger to present ECOWAS’s demands, showing optimism about the outcome.
The Senate’s agreement to extensively debate the developments signifies the situation’s importance and delicate nature. The Nigerian government’s quick response highlights its commitment to regional stability and democratic governance.