Abuja, Thursday – President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, addressed attendees at the commencement of the 2nd Extraordinary Summit, centered on addressing the socio-political situation in the Republic of Niger. President Tinubu emphasized the regional bloc’s unwavering commitment to pursuing diplomatic negotiations, dialogue, and earnest discussions with all stakeholders to reinstate constitutional governance in Niger.

President Tinubu echoed the sentiments of the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, stating, “Our relentless commitment to democracy, human rights, and the well-being of the people of Niger requires us to prioritize diplomatic negotiations and dialogue. We must engage all parties involved, including the coup leaders, in earnest discussions to convince them to relinquish power and restore President Bazoum to his rightful position.”

Underlining the significance of the summit, President Tinubu underscored the need for a comprehensive evaluation of the progress made thus far. He articulated, “As leaders of our respective nations, we must recognize that the political crisis in Niger not only jeopardizes the nation’s stability but also has far-reaching implications for the entire West African region.”

President Tinubu reaffirmed ECOWAS’ collective condemnation of the military coup that disrupted Niger’s democratically elected government, a sentiment established during the initial Extraordinary Summit held in Abuja. He highlighted ECOWAS’ coordinated efforts, including the deployment of mediation teams and Special Envoys to engage with key stakeholders within and beyond the region.

In a bid to guide decisions at the summit, President Tinubu pointed to recent meetings such as the ECOWAS Chiefs of Defense Staff, the Chiefs of Staffs Committee, and the ECOWAS Commission’s memorandum on current developments in Niger.

President Tinubu stated, “Today’s Summit is a significant opportunity to meticulously review and assess the progress since our last gathering. We must comprehensively evaluate the effectiveness of our interventions and identify any obstacles hindering progress. Only through this assessment can we chart a sustainable path towards lasting peace, stability, and prosperity in Niger.”

The ECOWAS Chairperson expressed confidence that this 2nd Extraordinary Summit would be pivotal in steering West Africa towards greater resilience and integration. He called upon fellow leaders to seize this occasion and shape a future marked by peace, progress, and prosperity for the African continent.

In attendance at the opening ceremony were Presidents from Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Cote ‘d’Ivoire, Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Liberia and the Gambia were represented by their Foreign Ministers, while non-ECOWAS leaders, including the Presidents of Mauritania and Burundi, were also present. The summit is expected to provide a platform for crucial discussions aimed at restoring constitutional governance in Niger and fostering stability in the region.

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