| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Nigeria’s Tinubu urges re-engagement with regional juntas to promote democracy

The West African organization ECOWAS, according to Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, should work to re-engage with the region’s militarily ruled nations and assist them in achieving “realistic and short” transitions to democracy.

As part of a wave of government overthrows in the Sahel region of West Africa, soldiers from the presidential guard detained President Mohamed Bazoum in July, making Niger the most recent member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to experience a coup. They imposed a provisional government.

Authorities in Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone said two weeks ago they had thwarted coup attempts.

Speaking at an annual summit in the Nigerian capital Abuja, ECOWAS chairman Tinubu said the bloc should re-engage “with the countries under military rule on the basis of realistic and short transition plans that can deliver democracy and good governance”.

“We should be prepared to provide them with technical and material support, to ensure the achievement of these strategic goals,” said Tinubu.

ECOWAS has imposed a series of economic sanctions on the juntas which are hurting the poor and should be removed, the military governments say.

Tinubu also said ECOWAS would review a move by some member states under military rule to form a security alliance.

Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso in September signed a security pact promising to come to the aid of each other in case of any rebellion or external aggression.

“This phantom, push-back alliance appears intended to divert attention from our mutual quest for democracy and good governance that will impact the life of our people,” said Tinubu, before he led ECOWAS leaders into a closed-door meeting.

  • Reuters