How I guided ECOWAS to avoid bloodshed in Niger – Tinubu


President Bola Tinubu said on Friday the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was adopting back-channel strategies to restore democracy in the Niger Republic.

The president, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, stated when he received the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He said ECOWAS would continue to explore diplomatic interventions in a bid to avoid bloodshed in the landlocked West African nation.

Tinubu stressed that he has been guiding the regional bloc in a bid to protect ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

Soldiers attached to the Niger Republic presidential guard ousted Basoum in a military putsch on July 26.

The West African bloc activated its standby force in August in a bid to force the junta led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani out of power.

The president said: “I am deploying all appropriate back-channel strategies to avoid bloodshed in Niger Republic. We recognize the wishes of our people; they do not want war, but that does not mean we cannot take bold and decisive action.

“We have a colleague and a democratically-elected leader, President Bazoum, being used as a human shield. If we are not careful, he and his family can be endangered.

“Leadership is about responding to the needs of the people; their cries, and their frustrations. Nigeria shares a border with Niger across the expanse of seven Nigerian states, and most of these states are very populated. Therefore, I need to guide ECOWAS carefully and steadily so that we manage our anger carefully.

In her remarks, Colonna commended President Tinubu’s leadership of ECOWAS

She said: “We support your efforts at ECOWAS. We are behind you because we believe that constitutional order is a treasure for all countries, and democracy must be a reality.”

The minister also invited the president to the forthcoming Peace Conference in Paris.

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