President Bola Tinubu, who is currently chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government, has roundly condemned the ongoing attempt to illegally take over the government of Niger Republic.
Members of the elite Presidential Guard on Wednesday sealed off access to the residence and offices of Niger President, Mohamed Bazoum, although no announcements have been made yet by the group or the military high command.
A statement issued by Tinubu on Wednesday afternoon, described the situation as “unpleasant developments” which go contrary to efforts by West African leaders to nurture democratic governance in the sub-region.
“The ECOWAS leadership will not accept any action that impedes the smooth functioning of legitimate authority in Niger or any part of West Africa”, said Tinubu, who signed the statement.
It further reads: “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.
“I wish to say that we are closely monitoring the situation and developments in Niger and we will do everything within our powers to ensure democracy is firmly planted, nurtured, well rooted and thrives in our region.
“I am in close consultation with other leaders in our region, and we shall protect our hard-earned democracy in line with the universally acceptable principle of constitutionalism.
“As the Chairperson of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, I state without equivocation that Nigeria stands firmly with the elected government in Niger and equally conveys the absolute resolve of leaders in our sub-region that we shall not waiver or flinch on our stand to defend and preserve constitutional order.”