By Grace Chigbu
Abuja- President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has escalated measures against Niger Republic, instructing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) acting governor to enforce further financial sanctions. These sanctions are explicitly aimed at the military junta and their affiliated entities and individuals.
The president’s directive came to light during a briefing on Tuesday when Anjuri Ngelare, the President’s special adviser on media and publicity, communicated the decision to State House correspondents. He relayed, “Following the expiration of the deadline of the ultimatum and in alignment with the preexisting consensus of the ECOWAS Heads of State, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has mandated the Central Bank of Nigeria to impose an additional series of financial sanctions. The target remains entities and individuals linked with the military junta in Niger Republic.”
Ngelare further emphasized the decision’s collective nature, noting that it was rooted in a broader regional stance. “The regional bloc, ECOWAS, has a unified standpoint on the Niger issue. It is neither a unilateral decision by President Tinubu nor Nigeria against Niger,” he clarified.
In the backdrop of these intensified sanctions, Ngelare announced that further dialogues with Niger are in the pipeline. He confirmed that further consensus on subsequent actions concerning Niger will be determined in the forthcoming extraordinary summit of ECOWAS, set to take place in Abuja this Thursday.
Addressing speculations around the ultimatum’s origins, Ngelare stressed, “The ECOWAS mandate and ultimatum are not exclusively Nigeria’s. They represent the collective stance of the member nations within the ECOWAS bloc.”
This clarification comes in light of recent media narratives hinting at a personalization of the ECOWAS stance. Ngelare addressed this, stating, “There’s been some misinterpretation in both domestic and international media arenas, attributing the ECOWAS sub-regional position exclusively to President Tinubu and Nigeria. It’s crucial to understand that while President Tinubu currently holds the ECOWAS chairmanship, the position he champions is a reflection of the shared viewpoint of all member state heads.”
Concluding the briefing, Ngelare left the media with a poignant statement, reminding all of the president’s awareness and commitment to regional stability: “A coup doesn’t transpire in one’s vicinity without one being acutely conscious of it.”
The sanctions and the upcoming ECOWAS summit underscore the region’s commitment to restoring democratic processes and ensuring stability in Niger Republic. The global community awaits the outcomes of Thursday’s summit, hoping for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis.