The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has dispatched the President of Benin, Patrice Talon, to Niger to mediate the governance crisis in that country.
The Chairman of ECOWAS and Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, disclosed this to journalists after he met behind closed doors with Mr Talon at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“He is going there now. He is on his way now to Niger Republic,” Mr Tinubu said.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the attempted coup in Niger on Wednesday. Niger President Mohammed Bazoum was detained by presidential guards at the presidential palace. The soldiers also blocked the road leading to the palace.
The situation in Niger was the topic of discussion between Messrs Buhari and Talon. The meeting between the two leaders was unscheduled and was necessitated by the situation in their neighbouring country.
Also speaking, Mr Talon said the situation in Niger was a serious one and action must be taken immediately to salvage it.
He expressed optimism that the quick intervention of ECOWAS would yield the desired result.
“The situation is serious enough that ECOWAS with President Tinubu as the Chairman, and the President of Nigeria, as a neighbouring country of Niger Republic, with Benin Republic of which I am the President, for us not to take it jokingly and act quickly.
“I believe that all means will be used if necessary to restore constitutional order in Niger, but the ideal would be for everything to happen in peace and harmony. So, as the president has committed, the mediation actions will be reinforced this very evening so that this situation can be settled in peace, between brothers because even when what is not acceptable is done, it is necessary that in peace, we can correct this. This is our first option and we think it will be a success,” he said.
The situation in Niger has been condemned by both the African Union and ECOWAS.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how President Tinubu in his capacity as ECOWAS Chairman condemned the attempted coup.
“Information filtering in from the Republic of Niger indicates some unpleasant developments around the country’s highest political leadership.
“It should be quite clear to all players in the Republic of Niger that the leadership of the ECOWAS Region and all lovers of democracy around the world will not tolerate any situation that incapacitates the democratically-elected government of the country.
“The ECOWAS leadership will not accept any action that impedes the smooth functioning of legitimate authority in Niger or any part of West Africa,” the Nigerian leader wrote in a statement.
Support PREMIUM TIMES’ journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie – +2348098788999