The Niger Republic under the regime of Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani has cut off ties with Nigeria after attempts by the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to negotiate a return to civilian rule failed.
President Bola Tinubu, on Thursday, sent a high-powered delegation to the country to meet with the coup leaders.
This followed a seven-day ultimatum issued by ECOWAS for the reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum to avoid possible clash with the junta.
The delegation led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) only met with representatives of the junta.
Subsequently, Niger severed ties with Nigeria, Togo, France, its coloniser, and the United States.
The functions of the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassadors of the Republic of Niger” to France, Nigeria, Togo and the United States are terminated,” Radio France International quoted one of the putschists to have said on national television.
The military junta in Niger led by Tchiani, the former Head of Presidential Guard to the ousted President, Mohamed Bazoum, detained Bazoum in a palace coup on July 26, 2023, while Tchiani later declared himself Head of State.
In an attempt to resolve the political crisis in the Niger Republic, the ECOWAS on Thursday dispatched two missions abroad, with the mandate to achieving a resolution to ending the crisis.
A statement on Thursday by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, Chairman of the ECOWAS’ Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Bola Tinubu, who dispatched both teams on the mission, charged the General Abubakar’s team with a mandate to expeditiously resolve the crisis in the troubled country.
The mission to Niger Republic which departed for Niamey immediately after President Tinubu’s briefing, was in line with the resolution reached at the end of the extraordinary summit of the ECOWAS held last weekend at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The former Nigerian Head of State is joined in the delegation by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray.
Briefing the two delegations, President Tinubu charged them to engage all stakeholders robustly with a view to doing whatever it takes to ensure a conclusive and amicable resolution of the situation in Niger for the purposes of African peace and development rather than a move to adopt the geopolitical positions of other nations.
“We don’t want to hold brief for anybody. Our concern is democracy and the peace of the region,” the President said.
Speaking after the meeting, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.) said the delegation would meet the coup leaders in Niger to present the demands of the ECOWAS leadership.