During an extraordinary session, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS issued a seven-day ultimatum to the military in Niger Republic, demanding the restoration of ousted President Muhammed Bazoum to office.
President Bola Tinubu presided over the session in Abuja, where they discussed the situation in the country, as President Bazoum had been held by members of his presidential guards for several days.
The Authority reaffirmed its recognition of Bazoum as the legitimate President and took decisive actions, including the imposition of land border closures and the suspension of all commercial flights between Niger Republic and ECOWAS member states.
Additionally, the Chiefs of Defense Staff of member states will hold an emergency meeting to strategize on a possible military operation to restore Bazoum to office, as declared by President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray.
According to him, the ECOWAS will “Take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Nigeria. Such measures may include the use of force.
“To this effect, the Chiefs of Defense staff of ECOWAS are to meet immediately.”
Speaking on economic sanctions against Nigeria’s northern neighbor, Touray said that ECOWAS has approved the “Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Asia. Freeze all service transactions including energy transactions.
“Freeze assets of the Republic of Niger in Aqua Central Bank. Freeze of assets of the Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks.
“Suspension of measure from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly EBID.”
Leaders who were present at the meeting include President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea-Bissau, Alassane Ouattara of Cote D’Ivoire and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo.
Others are President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Patrice Talon of Benin, and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana.