President Bola Tinubu has described as unacceptable the attempted coup in Niger Republic on Monday morning by yet to be identified military men.
In a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, Tinubu said that the leadership of ECOWAS would not tolerate any situation that incapacitates the democratically-elected government.
‘‘Information filtering in from the Republic of Niger indicates some unpleasant developments around the country’s highest political leadership.
‘‘It should be quite clear to all players in the Republic of Niger that the leadership of the ECOWAS Region and all lovers of democracy around the world will not tolerate any situation that incapacitates the democratically-elected government of the country.
‘‘The ECOWAS leadership will not accept any action that impedes the smooth functioning of legitimate authority in Niger or any part of West Africa.
‘‘I wish to say that we are closely monitoring the situation and developments in Niger and we will do everything within our powers to ensure democracy is firmly planted, nurtured, well rooted and thrives in our region.’’
Tinubu, who is the Chairperson of ECOWAS, said he is in close consultation with other leaders in the region, adding ‘‘we shall protect our hard-earned democracy in line with the universally acceptable principle of constitutionalism’’.
The president said that Nigeria stands firmly with the elected government in Niger Republic.
‘‘I equally conveys the absolute resolve of leaders in our sub-region that we shall not waiver or flinch on our stand to defend and preserve constitutional order,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that security sources have indicated that the presidential guards are holding the President, Mohamed Bazoum, at the presidential palace.
It said that access to the palace for officials of the facility had also been blocked by military vehicles in the capital city, Niamey.
NAN also reports that the country’s last coup occurred in February 2010, overthrowing then president Mamadou Tandja.
However, there was an attempted putsch on March 31, 2021, just two days before Bazoum’s inauguration, according to a security source at the time.
Several people were arrested, including the suspected ringleader, an air force captain named Sani Gourouza.
He was arrested in neighbouring Benin and handed over to the Niger authorities. (NAN)