Côte d’Ivoire’s President, Alassane Ouattara, says the illegal and continuous detention of President Mohammed Bazoum of Niger Republic by coup plotters is nothing but an act of terrorism.
The Ivorian President made the declaration in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital during an interview with State House Correspondents….CONTINUE READING
He said ECOWAS has done its best by sending emissaries to the junta in Niger, so as to peacefully restore democratic rule but all efforts proved abortive.
“We have sent delegation, high personalities like former President Abdulsalami Abubakar of Nigeria, the Sultan of Sokoto, 14th Emir of Kano and former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi my friend and many others personalities in this important country, to talk to the people of Niger.
“But they’re keeping President Bazoum as a hostage. I personally consider this as a terrorist act. And we cannot let this continue. We have to act.”
The Cote D’Ivoire President emphasized that the decision taken by ECOWAS was a collective one and not a case of Nigeria going against her neighbour Niger as been insinuated.
He said Niger’s President, Mohammed Bazoum must be freed to exercise the mandate given to him by his people.
“The position of Côte d’Ivoire, which has been endorsed by all of the Heads of State, is that we have been able to tell these coupists that their place is in the barracks. They should go to fight the terrorists and not try to kidnap a democratically elected President.
“We had a very good summit. We thank President Tinubu for having invited us, for his hospitality and the people of Nigeria.
“As you’re aware this is the second summit in 10 days that we have organized in Niger and this is a critical problem we have to solve. As you’re aware, ECOWAS has taken many decisions in the past, legal and factual about coup d’etats and the community has always condemned coup d’etats and coups have happened in many countries in the region. ECOWAS has intervened in the past in Liberia, Sierra Leone recently in Gambia, Guinea Bissau and today we have a similar situation in Niger.
“I’d like to say that ECOWAS cannot accept this. This is not a matter of Nigeria against Niger, not at all. The decision that we have made today and I hope it will be implemented immediately is a decision of ECOWAS; all the Heads of State think that we have tried dialogue with the coup plotters.
“I think these coupists must go. Bazoum is the democratically elected President. he should be freed, he should be able to exercise his mandate freely,” he added.
Senegal’s President, Macky Sall, who also spoke to Journalists, said that ECOWAS would no longer accept coup d’etats but would uphold democracy.
“I support the action that has been proposed by ECOWAS that we do not accept this attempted coup d’etat to stand and that we make every effort to make sure that constitutional order returns to Niger.
“If we had made mistakes in the past, we should try to correct them now. There is always a time to get started. I think it was a mistake not to have taken action previously, but now that we are together on this we should take action to make sure that it does not continue,” President Sall stressed….CONTINUE READING