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Nothing Stops Niger From Replicating Abdulsalami’s Nine-Month Transition, Says Tinubu

The ECOWAS chief said sanctions imposed on Niger Republic won’t be lifted without “positive adjustments” by the military junta.

Photo- President Tinubu during a meeting with the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in the State House, Thursday, August 31, 2023.

By Donatus Anichukwueze

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday suggested 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.

Tinubu said this when he received the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, at the State House.

According to the Nigerian leader, who is also the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), if Nigeria could successfully return to democracy in 1999 through a nine-month programme by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, there was no reason such could not be replicated by Niger coup leaders.

According to a statement by his spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, the ECOWAS chief said sanctions imposed on Niger Republic won’t be lifted without “positive adjustments” by the military junta.

Since the Niger coup, ECOWAS has imposed several sanctions on the country, threatening military intervention if dialogue failed in bringing back civilian rule.

The Niger junta has said it needed a three-year transition period to restore constitutional order in the country, a position ECOWAS rejected.

With the coup in Gabon on Wednesday, Tinubu said his fears that other countries will copy what happened in Niger was confirmed.

“I must thank you for your several visits to Niger Republic, Your Eminence, but you will still have to go back. My fear has been confirmed in Gabon that copy cats will start doing the same thing until it is stopped.

“We are neighbours 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,” the President warned.

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