President Bola Tinubu on Thursday said no option is off the table including the use of force as the last resort in resolving the Niger Republic crisis.
The Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) made the comment in his closing remarks at the bloc’s summit in Abuja.
“You will see from the communiqué of this extraordinary summit that no option is taken off the tables including the use of force as the last resort. If we don’t do it, no one else will do it for us. We remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting Niger towards peaceful and democratic stability in the country,” Tinubu said.
The Nigerian leader believes that while there will be challenges ahead, with collective resolve, ECOWAS will navigate all obstacles for lasting peace and prosperity in the Niger Republic and other member countries.
He commended leaders for their “unwavering commitment” to the sub-region and welfare of the African continent.
“The road ahead will undoubtedly have challenges but I firmly believe that with our collective resolve, we can navigate these obstacles and chart a part towards lasting peace and prosperity for Nigeriens and ECOWAS.
“I send my sincere gratitude to all of you for your dedication and valuable contributions during this extraordinary summit. Your unwavering commitment to ECOWAS and the welfare of our continent is highly commendable.
“I want to thank you for your positive remarks and recognition given to me and the government and the people of Nigeria. May our collective efforts pave the way for a brighter future for Nigeriens and all Africans,” he added.
The 15-nation bloc is struggling to stem military takeovers that have now swept through four of its members in three years.
Their summit came four days after the expiry of an ultimatum to Niger’s coup leaders to reinstate the elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, who was detained by guards on July 26.
But the regime ignored the deadline. The coup leaders on Thursday signalled further defiance by appointing a new government.
The 21-member cabinet will be headed by Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, a civilian, with generals from the new military governing council at the defence and interior ministries.
The possibility of military intervention in Niger, a fragile nation that ranks among the world’s poorest, sparked debate within ECOWAS and warnings from neighbouring Algeria as well as Russia.