Abuja, Thursday – President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, addressed the opening of the 2nd Extraordinary Summit on the socio-political situation in the Republic of Niger, emphasizing the regional bloc’s unwavering commitment to diplomacy and dialogue. The summit, held in Abuja, sought to restore constitutional governance in Niger following recent upheavals.
President Tinubu stressed the importance of engaging all parties involved, including coup leaders, in earnest discussions to ensure the return of President Bazoum and the relinquishment of power. He reiterated the significance of diplomatic negotiations as the foundation of the approach to resolving the crisis.
Highlighting the broader implications of the political crisis in Niger for the West African region, President Tinubu called for steadfast adherence to democracy, good governance, and the rule of law. He underscored the need for a comprehensive evaluation of the progress achieved so far, emphasizing that a return to constitutional governance was crucial for stability and prosperity.
The summit built upon commitments made during the initial Extraordinary Summit held in Abuja ten days prior. President Tinubu recalled the unanimous condemnation of the military coup by ECOWAS leaders and outlined the bloc’s coordinated efforts, including the deployment of mediation teams and Special Envoys.
The Nigerian leader drew attention to the recent meetings of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defense Staff and the Chiefs of Staffs Committee, as well as the ECOWAS Commission’s memorandum on current developments in Niger, as sources of valuable insight for the decisions of the Heads of State and Government.
President Tinubu emphasized the need for a meticulous review of progress since the previous gathering and the identification of challenges and gaps that may have hindered advancement. He stated that only through this comprehensive assessment could a sustainable path towards lasting peace, stability, and prosperity be charted.
The ECOWAS Chairperson expressed confidence that the summit would be a defining moment in the journey towards a stronger, more integrated West Africa. He called upon fellow leaders to seize the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of Africans by fostering a future characterized by peace, progress, and prosperity.
The opening ceremony was attended by several West African leaders, including the Presidents of Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Liberia and the Gambia were represented by their Foreign Ministers, and non-ECOWAS leaders, including the presidents of Mauritania and Burundi, were also in attendance.
The summit marked a significant step in the ongoing efforts to restore stability and constitutional governance in Niger, with diplomacy and dialogue taking center stage in the regional approach to resolving the crisis.