Detained Niger President, Mohamed Bazoum has said the hard won achievements in the West Africa country will be safeguarded just as Nigeria President and Chairman of Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Bola Ahmed Tinubu said there is an ongoing plan with other countries to stop the forceful take over of power by small group of soldiers in the country.
Niger President, Mohamed Bazoum in a tweet on Thursday said that “The hard-won achievements will be safeguarded. All Nigeriens who love democracy and freedom will see it”.
The detained Niger President stated this hours after soldiers announced a coup on TV, on Wednesday.
The coup has led to unrest in the West Africa country. Supporters of the coup attacked the headquarters of the ousted president’s party, setting it on fire and stoning and burning cars outside the building.
The small group of the supporters who attacked the party headquarters had broken away from a larger show of support for the coup leaders outside parliament, where Russian flags were displayed.
The Niger military authority has reportedly given its backing to the troops who took President Mohamed Bazoum captive on Wednesday.
The Wednesday coup occurred despite the warning given by the ECOWAS chairperson, President Bola Tinubu, against the illegal removal of any democratically elected governments in the West Africa. But the Niger coup plotters have warned against any foreign intervention.
The ECOWAS Chairman and Nigeria President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Wednesday reacted while the coup was ongoing in Niger Republic. Bola Ahmed Tinubu statement reads in quote: “UNPLEASANT DEVELOPMENTS IN NIGER REPUBLIC. 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 incapacitate 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. I am in close consultation with other leaders in our region, and we shall protect our hard-earned democracy in line with the universally acceptable principle of constitutionalism.
“As the Chairperson of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, I state without equivocation that Nigeria stands firmly with the elected government in Niger and 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”.
Thereafter the statement was issued on Wednesday, the small group of soldiers appeared on the country’s national television Wednesday night, hours after the President of Niger Mohamed Bazoum was held in the presidential palace, and declared that Bazoum government had been ousted from power.
Colonel Amadou Abdramane, in a statement said defence and security forces had decided to “put an end to the regime that you know due to the deteriorating security situation and bad governance.”
Abdramane said Niger’s borders are closed, a nationwide curfew declared, and all institutions of the republic are suspended.
The soldiers thereafter warned against any foreign intervention, adding that they would respect Bazoum’s well-being.
“This follows the continuing deterioration of the security situation, and poor economic and social governance”, Abdramane said.
Abdramane also said that all of the country’s institutions had been suspended and that the heads of the ministries would take care of day-to-day business.
“All external partners are asked not to interfere,” Abdramane added. “Land and air borders are closed until the situation has stabilised”.
The military coup plotter declared a night curfew to take effect from 22:00 until 05:00 local time until further notice.
The military takeover marks the seventh coup in the West and Central Africa region since 2020. There are concerns that the Niger coup could further complicate western efforts to help countries in the Sahel region fight a jihadist insurgency that has spread from Mali over the past decade.
Supporters of the Nigerien defense and security forces were seen gathered during a demonstration outside the national assembly in Niamey, Niger on Thursday.
United Nations and the United States of America have called for the release of the detained Niger’s president, Mohamed Bazoum.
U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken while addressing reporters on Thursday in New Zealand, said, he has spoken with Bazoum and “made clear that the United States resolutely supports him as the democratically elected president of Niger.”
“Whether this constitutes a coup technically or not, I can’t say, that’s for the lawyers to say, but what it clearly constitutes is an effort to seize power by force and to disrupt the constitution,” Blinken said.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said in a statement late Wednesday the United Nations “stands in solidarity with the democratically elected government and people of Niger.”
Dujarric said Guterres is “deeply concerned” about Bazoum’s detention and called for his release without preconditions.