President Bola Tinubu said on Thursday that the Niger military junta has nine months to return the country to civilian governance after seizing control from President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.
Tinubu made the remarks at the State House while receiving the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, which was led by the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III.
According to the Nigerian leader, who is also the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), if Nigeria was able to successfully return to democracy in 1999 thanks to General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s nine-month programme, there was no reason why Niger coup leaders couldn’t do the same.
According to his spokeswoman, Ajuri Ngelale, the ECOWAS leader stated that sanctions put on the Niger Republic will not be withdrawn without “positive adjustments” by the military junta.
ECOWAS has slapped multiple sanctions on Niger since the coup, threatening military action if diplomacy fails to restore civilian government.
The Niger junta has stated that restoring constitutional order in the nation will require a three-year transition period, which ECOWAS has rejected.
Tinubu added that the coup in Gabon on Wednesday validated his worries that other nations might follow Niger’s example.
“I must thank you for your numerous visits to the Niger Republic, Your Eminence, but you will still need to return.” In Gabon, my dread was confirmed: copycats will start doing the same thing until it is stopped.
“We share a border with Niger Republic, and what has united Nigerians with their great people cannot be broken.” Nobody wants to go to war. We’ve witnessed the carnage in Ukraine and Sudan. But if we don’t wield the heavy stick, we will all pay the price,” the president said.