The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, announced on Saturday that Nigeria is committed to ongoing diplomatic efforts to secure the release of the deposed President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum. Bazoum has been in detention since the junta took control of the West African country earlier this year.
Minister Tuggar, speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Conference in Dubai, emphasized that Nigeria, a key player in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc, will persist in advocating for Bazoum’s freedom. He clarified that Nigeria is not facing external pressure to act against Niger Republic.
The minister outlined Nigeria’s position, stating, “We are asking them to release President Bazoum so that he will be allowed to leave Niger. He will no longer be in custody. He will go to a third country that is mutually agreed upon. And then we start talking about the removal of sanctions.”
Tuggar underscored that Nigeria’s stance is not intended to be confrontational, emphasizing the historical brotherhood between the people of Nigeria and Niger. He rejected the notion that Nigeria is being influenced by external forces, stating, “That’s pure propaganda. Those are lies. Everybody knows Nigeria’s track record when it comes to standing for what is right.”
The minister highlighted Nigeria’s historical commitment to advocating for freedom in various regions, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola, and Mozambique. He affirmed that Nigeria remains consistent in supporting just causes, referencing ongoing efforts in Palestine and Gaza.
As diplomatic discussions continue, Nigeria maintains an open door for engagement with the leadership in Niger. Minister Tuggar emphasized that the ball is in the court of Niger, and Nigeria is prepared to listen and engage constructively in resolving the situation.
The situation involving the deposed President Bazoum remains a focal point for Nigeria’s diplomatic efforts within the ECOWAS framework.