Abuja, Thursday – President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, inaugurated the 2nd Extraordinary Summit, a pivotal gathering aimed at addressing the socio-political situation in the Republic of Niger. The President underscored the regional bloc’s commitment to diplomacy and dialogue as key tools for reestablishing constitutional governance in the troubled nation.
Speaking passionately during the summit’s opening ceremony, President Tinubu emphasized the importance of engaging all relevant parties, including the coup leaders, in earnest discussions to facilitate the relinquishment of power and the reinstatement of President Bazoum. The President stressed the necessity of prioritizing diplomatic negotiations and dialogue to ensure a swift return to stability and constitutional governance in Niger.
The President’s sentiments were echoed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who cited the President’s unwavering dedication to democracy, human rights, and the well-being of the Nigerien people. Ngelale conveyed the President’s call for a comprehensive evaluation of the progress made thus far in addressing the political crisis in Niger.
“The political crisis in Niger not only threatens the nation’s stability but also poses far-reaching implications for the entire West African region,” President Tinubu affirmed. He underlined the critical role of adhering to democratic principles, good governance, and the rule of law in restoring peace, stability, and prosperity to Niger.
In his address, President Tinubu recalled the ECOWAS leaders’ collective condemnation of the military coup that ousted Niger’s democratically elected government. He highlighted the concerted efforts taken by ECOWAS, including the deployment of mediation teams and Special Envoys, to engage with key stakeholders within and beyond the region.
The President further pointed to recent significant meetings within ECOWAS, including the gathering of Chiefs of Defense Staff and the Chiefs of Staffs Committee, along with the ECOWAS Commission’s memorandum on the ongoing developments in Niger. These sources of insight are set to guide the decisions of the Heads of State and Government participating in the summit.
President Tinubu reiterated the summit’s purpose as a crucial opportunity to meticulously review progress and identify any challenges that may have impeded advancements. He stressed that only through such a comprehensive assessment could a new sustainable path toward lasting peace, stability, and prosperity in Niger be charted.
The ECOWAS Chairperson expressed confidence that the 2nd Extraordinary Summit would mark a defining moment in the journey towards a more robust, resilient, and integrated West Africa. He called upon fellow leaders to seize this opportunity to leave a lasting positive impact on the lives of Africans, fostering a future characterized by peace, progress, and prosperity.
Prominent African leaders from ECOWAS member states, including Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Cote ‘d’ Ivoire, Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone, and Togo, attended the opening ceremony. In a show of solidarity, Liberia and the Gambia were represented by their Foreign Ministers. Notably, non-ECOWAS leaders, including the Presidents of Mauritania and Burundi, also graced the event with their presence.
The 2nd ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit promises to be a significant juncture in the ongoing efforts to restore constitutional governance and stability to the Republic of Niger, thereby fostering a climate of growth and development for the entire West African region.