Tinubu declared that he would give Nigeria’s interest top priority when it came to ECOWAS’s management of standoffs in the sub-region of West Africa.
Despite stating that conflict in any West African nation would be damaging to his economic reforms, President Bola Tinubu stressed that democracy must be upheld at all costs.
The President made this announcement on Saturday, August 26, 2023, in the State House in Abuja during his meeting with Ambassador Molly Phee, the U.S. Presidential Envoy and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.
The Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) and military authorities in Niger Republic are becoming more tense due to the latter’s persistent resistance to restoring democratic order in the nation, which is reflected in Tinubu’s remarks.
Under President Tinubu’s direction, ECOWAS had threatened to pursue the Niger junta with its standby force if they did not restore ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
The regional bloc did clarify that military action would only be taken as a last resort and only in the event that ongoing diplomatic talks with the military authorities of Niger failed to produce the desired results.
Speaking on Saturday, Tinubu stated that his approach to the ECOWAS’ management of the Niger situation will only serve the interests of the Nigerian state, not that of any other nation.
The President went on to say that he would not let the situation in Niger stop him from implementing his plans for economic transformation that will benefit Nigerians.
“We are making great efforts to use our diplomatic resources to resolve the situation in Niger in a peaceful manner. Even though ECOWAS is open to all possibilities, I will not allow it to proceed until I have exhausted all other corrective measures.
While war is not the best option for the area or for my economic reforms, defending democracy is important. According to the ECOWAS Chairman, “we will not allow anyone to insincerely buy time.”
In addition, the President assigned the US special envoy the duty of strengthening collaboration and defending democracy in West Africa.
Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesman, issued a statement on behalf of President Tinubu advising Ambassador Phee to make sure that American policy is purposefully cooperative with autonomous African democracies during a period when these countries are being targeted by anti-democratic elements both inside and outside of Africa.
He pointed out that in order to address the developmental needs of the younger democracies in Africa, which function in contexts teeming with authoritarianism, the global institutions and development funding supported by the United States needed extensive adjustments.
According to Tinubu, this needs to be done vigorously because the institutions created policies to aid a war-torn Europe following World War II. He also claimed that doing so would satisfy Africans’ rightful desire to employ indigenous remedies to address their problems.
“Yes, the private sector will take the lead in an atmosphere that we build for them, but the United States government needs to think creatively and systematically develop incentives to attract American industry to Nigeria.
“Nigeria is prepared to handle their unique fiscal, regulatory, and environmental issues under my direction. The President declared, “I am committed to bringing prosperity to every family in Nigeria.”