Status Uncertain After Tinubu’s Meeting With 5 Governors Sharing Boundary With Niger Republic
President Bola Tinubu on Sunday evening engaged in crucial consultations with the Northern Governors, whose states are sharing boundary with Niger Republic at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not made public, a presidency source said it was part of consultations to serve as a vital platform for the President to address the escalating situation in Niger Republic.
The governors in attendance were Ahmed Aliyu (Sokoto), Umar Namadi (Jigawa), Mai Malam Buni (Yobe), Idris Nasir (Kebbi) and Dr Dikko Radda (Katsina).
No formal statement has been issued yet on the President’s meeting with the five State governors, which held at the State House, Abuja.
It was gathered that the Northern Elites have kicked against any military might against the military junta following what would be the consequence of such action on Nigeria.
The meeting according to a presidency source was convened to get input from the northern Governors as the seven day ultimatum for the military to reinstate the overthrown President has expired.
Recall that the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government had about a week ago given ultimatum to the military junta that sacked the democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum. The military junta led by Abdourahamane Tchiani, President of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), took over after a coup that overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum, on 26 July 2023.
The ECOWAS Heads State and Government headed by President Tinubu in a meeting in Abuja issued a seven-day ultimatum to the military junta in Niger Republic to reinstate Bazoum as democratically elected President or face a range of stiff sanctions.
The Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS, in its resolution, recognized Bazoum as the legitimate President of the nation.
The regional body also threatened to impose land border closures and no-fly zone conditions on Niger Republic should the military coup masterminds fail to heed its ultimatum.
It also tasked all Chiefs of Defense Staff of the member-states to proceed for an emergency meeting to strategize on effective ways to implement a possible military operation to restore constitutional order to office.
According to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, who read the communiqué, the body “call for the immediate release and reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum as President and Head of State of the Republic of Niger and for the full restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.
“Reject any form of resignation that may purportedly come from His Excellency, President Mohamed Bazoum; considered the illegal detention of President Bazoum as a hostage situation and hold the authors of the attempted coup that are solely and fully responsible for the safety and security of His Excellency President Mohammed Bazoum, as well as members of his family and government.
“In the event the Authority’s demands are not met within one week, take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.
“Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Asia. Freeze all service transactions including energy transactions.
“Freeze assets of the Republic of Niger in Aqua Central Bank. Freeze of assets of the Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks. “Suspension of measure from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly EBID”, he said.
President Tinubu had via a memo to the senate asked for approval for military action as agreed by ECOWAS.
But the Senate rejected the request but rather asked Tinubu, who is the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, and other leaders of the region to tread with caution in addressing the political quagmire in Niger Republic.
Rising from a closed door session that lasted close to two hours to discuss the letter written to the Senate on Friday by President Tinubu on the decisions taken by the regional body, the Senate asked ECOWAS and its leaders to strengthen political and diplomatic options and other means with a view to resolving the political crisis in Niger Republic.