Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is deploying back-channel strategies to avoid bloodshed in Niger Republic.
Gatekeepers News reports that the regional bloc would also explore diplomatic interventions to restore constitutional order.
President Bola Tinubu disclosed this while receiving the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Catherine Colonna, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Friday.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, in a statement said Tinubu said he has to guide the regional bloc carefully to protect detained President Mohamed Bazoum who was ousted from power on July 26.
The Nigerian president noted that Nigeria is monitoring the situation in the neighbouring country, and exploring diplomatic channels to avoid bloodshed.
Tinubu said, “I am deploying all appropriate back-channel strategies to avoid bloodshed in Niger Republic. We recognize the wishes of our people; they do not want war, but that does not mean we can not take bold and decisive action.
“We have a colleague and a democratically-elected leader, President Bazoum, being used as a human shield. If we are not careful, he and his family can be endangered.
“Leadership is about responding to the needs of the people; their cries, and their frustrations. Nigeria shares a border with Niger across the expanse of seven Nigerian states, and most of these states are very populated. Therefore, I need to guide ECOWAS carefully and steadily so that we manage our anger carefully.”
Colonna in her remarks commended President Tinubu’s leadership in handling the affairs of the regional bloc, saying, “We support your efforts at ECOWAS. We are behind you because we believe that constitutional order is a treasure for all countries, and democracy must be a reality”.
The French minister also conveyed the goodwill of President Emmanuel Macron and expressed the readiness of France to expand mutually beneficial collaboration with Nigeria across multiple sectors.
She proceeded to extend a formal invitation to President Bola Tinubu to attend the forthcoming Paris Peace Forum.