Abuja, Nigeria – President Bola Tinubu, during an interaction with the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs led by His Eminence, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, at the State House in Abuja, called upon 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.”
In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu, who also serves as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), emphasized that a swift transition to democracy was possible, drawing parallels with Nigeria’s successful return to democracy in 1999 under a nine-month program led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar. He expressed confidence that similar efforts could be replicated by the leaders of the Niger coup.
President Tinubu reiterated that ECOWAS sanctions imposed on Niger Republic would remain in place until the military junta made “positive adjustments.”
Furthermore, President Tinubu expressed concerns about the recent coup in Gabon, emphasizing the need to prevent other countries from following the example set by Niger Republic. He stated, “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 initially proposed a three-year transition plan to restore democracy in the country. However, ECOWAS rejected this proposal, insisting on the immediate transfer of power to civilian authorities.