The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has taken immediate step to restore democratic order in Niger Republic by dispatching the President of Benin, Patrice Talon, on intervention mission to the troubled nation.
There had been reports early on Wednesday morning from Niamey, the Nigerien capital, that the nation’s President, Mohamed Bazoum, had been seized by his Presidential Guards and the Presidential Palace cordoned off with military vehicles. President Bola Tinubu, who is the Chairman of the Authority of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, had earlier in the day condemned the development, warning that the regional body, as well as the global community, would not condone disruption of constitutional order within the subregion.
The President also on Wednesday in reaction to the Niger situation, met with his Beninoise counterpart, Talon, at the State House, Abuja, wth a clear directive that the Beninoise President immediately proceeded to Niger on an intervention mission. Speaking with newsmen after the meeting with Talon, President Tinubu affirmed that the meeting had to do with the political unrest in Niger, adding that the Benin President was heading to the troubled nation already.
On what the meeting was all about, the Nigerian President said it was on the situation in Niger, saying “of our neighbour and the military misbehaviour in that particular country and that is what he’s here for”. Asked if the subregional Commission would launch an immediate action on the development or planning towards it, President Tinubu said “he’s going there now, he’s on his way to Niger Republic”. On his part, the President of Benin Republic, while speaking to reporters in French said he came to reason with President Tinubu on the development in their mutual neighbour’s territory, so that the situation can be summarily dealt with.
According to him, steps would be taken swiftly, starting immediately, to restore constitutional order in Niger. President Talon said: “I am here with President Tinubu because of the situation for the ECOWAS and President Tinubu, who is President of Nigeria, Niger’s neighbour, with President of Benin, equally Niger’s neighbour, so we take things seriously and act rapidly.
“I believe all the means will be employed, as needed, for constitutional order to be reestablished in Niger, but the goal is for there to be peace and unity. “So, as the President has already said, the mediation actions will be reinforced even starting this evening, so that the situation is regulated peacefully. “Even when what is not acceptable is being done, it is necessary for us to correct that by peaceful means. It’s our first option. And we assure you that it will be successful”.