In a resolute move, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has taken definitive action by imposing financial sanctions on entities and individuals providing assistance to the military junta in the Republic of Niger. The decision underscores the regional body’s commitment to restoring democratic governance in the troubled nation.
As the ultimatum set for the Niger military junta approaches its expiration, ECOWAS leaders are set to convene on Thursday to discuss the evolving situation. This summit holds critical importance as the regional bloc deliberates on measures to be taken in response to the ongoing political crisis.
Ajuri Ngelale, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, conveyed this development during a briefing with State House Correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday. Ngelale revealed that President Bola Tinubu has taken decisive action by instructing the acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to promptly execute the directives in alignment with the established ECOWAS protocol.
Ngelale said: ‘’I can report that following the expiration of the deadline of the ultimatum and standing on the pre-existing consensus position of financial sanctions meted out on the military junta in the Niger Republic by the bloc of ECOWAS Heads of State.
“His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has ordered an additional slew of financial sanctions through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on entities and individuals related to or involved with the military junta in Niger Republic.”
On the deadline given to the junta, Ngelale decried the reports linking the ECOWAS decision to President Tinubu.
“Concerning the ultimatum given to the military Junta in Niger Public, the ECOWAS mandate and ultimatum is not a Nigerian ultimatum.
“The office of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, also serving as the Chairman of ECOWAS, seeks to emphasise this point.
‘’Certain domestic and international media coverage tends towards personalization of the ECOWAS sub-regional position to his person and to our nation individually.
“It is because of this that Mr. President has deemed it necessary to state unequivocally that the mandate and ultimatum issued by ECOWAS is that of ECOWAS’s position,” the presidential aide added.
The sub-regional body had on July 30 given the military junta to restore constitutional order in Niger.
The West leaders also threatened to use military force on the coup leaders if they failed to comply with the directive at the expiration of the ultimatum.
They also imposed a no-fly zone on Niger.
Nigeria had also cut off the power supply to the landlocked West African country.
ECOWAS’ decision to levy financial sanctions underscores its unwavering commitment to upholding democratic principles and maintaining regional stability. The upcoming leaders’ meeting seeks to address the impending deadline and explore viable solutions to the situation in Niger, demonstrating the regional body’s active engagement and determination to foster positive change.