President Bola Tinubu, the new chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has described the coup attempt in Niger Republic as “unpleasant developments”.
Tinubu who expressed displeasure over the report that some members of the presidential guard of Niger tried to move against President Mohamed Bazoum, said that he was already in “close consultation” with other leaders in the region about the situation.
In a statement he personally signed, the Nigerian president noted that the leadership of the ECOWAS Region and all lovers of democracy around the world will not tolerate any situation that will truncate the democratically-elected government of the country.
He said, “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 waver or flinch on our stand to defend and preserve constitutional order.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerien presidency through its official Twitter account said on Wednesday that presidential guards engaged in an “anti-Republican demonstration” and tried “in vain” to obtain the support of the other security forces.
It added that Bazoum and his family were well after news agencies quoted security sources as saying that the guards were holding Bazoum inside the presidential palace in the capital, Niamey.
The palace and ministries next to it had been blocked off by military vehicles on Wednesday morning. Staff inside the palace were also unable to access their offices, presidency, and security sources said. But there was calm elsewhere in Niamey.