Abuja, Nigeria – President Bola Tinubu, during an interaction with the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, led by Sultan of Sokoto His Eminence Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, at the State House, Abuja, called on the military regime in Niger Republic to expedite the return to civilian rule within nine months. President Tinubu asserted that “nine months is enough for the Niger military junta to return the country to civilian rule after seizing power from President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.”
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, issued a statement quoting Tinubu, who also serves as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Tinubu stated, “If Nigeria could successfully return to democracy in 1999 through a nine-month program led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, there is no reason such could not be replicated by Niger coup leaders.”
President Tinubu emphasized that the sanctions imposed on Niger Republic by ECOWAS would not be lifted unless there were “positive adjustments” by the military junta.
Furthermore, Tinubu expressed his concerns about the potential for similar coups in neighboring countries, citing the recent coup in Gabon. He noted, “My fear has been confirmed in Gabon that copycats will start doing the same thing until it is stopped. We are neighbors with Niger Republic, and what has joined Nigerians together with their great people cannot be broken. Nobody is interested in a war. We have seen the devastation in Ukraine and Sudan. But if we don’t wield the big stick, we will all suffer the consequences together.”
It’s worth noting that the military regime in Niger had proposed a three-year transition plan to restore democracy in the country, which was rejected by ECOWAS, who insisted on an immediate surrender of power.