President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chairman of the ECOWAS authority of heads of state and government, has initiated measures to counter the coup attempt in the Republic of Niger, which has disrupted the country’s constitutional political leadership in the West African region. To address this critical situation, President Tinubu will convene a special meeting of regional leaders in Abuja today.
General Abdourahmane Tchiani, the head of Niger’s presidential guard, has declared himself the leader of a transitional government in Niger, just two days after overthrowing the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum. In response to this development, President Tinubu, in his capacity as ECOWAS Chairman, had previously condemned the political situation in the neighboring country and assured the international community that all necessary actions would be taken to defend democracy and ensure its firm establishment in the sub-region.
Support for ECOWAS’s efforts to quash the coup has started to emerge from the international community. US Vice President Kamala Harris and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed their support for ECOWAS’s stance on restoring constitutional order in Niger during separate telephone conversations with President Tinubu.
In her conversation, Vice President Harris commended Nigeria’s reform initiatives and encouraged the country to continue in that direction, pledging US assistance in the fight against terrorism and advocating for energy transitions in Africa, including Nigeria. President Tinubu expressed gratitude for the support and emphasized the importance of private sector investment in Nigeria, particularly with regards to funding gas pipelines to Europe.
On the matter of climate change, President Tinubu underscored the need for developed nations to understand the challenges faced by developing countries, including Africa. The leaders also discussed strengthening relations between their countries and their joint efforts in addressing global and regional issues, such as defending democracy in West Africa and The Sahel, and promoting digital inclusion.
In his conversation with UN Secretary-General Guterres, President Tinubu reiterated his commitment to resolving the crisis in Niger and sought the UN’s support in restoring democracy and building institutions in the country. Guterres affirmed the UN’s dedication to supporting President Tinubu’s peace efforts in Niger.
General Tchiani, in his televised announcement, declared himself as the “president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland” and cited the intervention as necessary to prevent the country’s decline. He criticized the previous government’s security approach, which he claimed had not brought security but rather resulted in casualties, displacement, humiliation, and frustration.
As of now, there is no indication of a timeline for the return to civilian leadership, and the situation surrounding President Bazoum’s whereabouts and detention remains unclear. The coup attempt has led to the closure of Niger’s borders, the declaration of a nationwide curfew, and the suspension of all institutions of the republic.
President Tinubu’s decisive actions and the support garnered from the international community demonstrate the commitment to restoring democracy and stability in Niger, a critical step in the region’s progress.