North’s senators hail Tinubu, ECOWAS leaders for lifting sanctions on Niger Republic

Northern Senators’ Forum (NSF) yesterday hailed the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Bola Tinubu, and other leaders of the sub-regional body for lifting sanctions it earlier imposed on Niger Republic.
The ECOWAS under Tinubu’s leadership had imposed sanctions on Niger Republic to force the country’s junta to return to democratic rule.

The NSF had pleaded with ECOWAS to lift the sanctions, saying it was having a negative effect on states sharing borders with Niger Republic.

The Niger Republic’s junta, following the sanctions imposed on it by ECOWAS leadership, had expressed its readiness to team up with other juntas in Mail, Burkina Faso, and Guinea to exit the regional body and form a Sahel state.

But on Saturday, the ECOWAS leaders met in Abuja, and lifted the sanctions.

Following the development, the NSF issued a statement through its spokesman, Senator Suleiman Kawu Sumaila, welcoming the decision of ECOWAS to lift the sanctions.

The statement reads: “Today, the Northern Senators’ Forum expresses its heartfelt appreciation and commendation to the exceptional leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for their decisive action in lifting sanctions imposed on Niger Republic as a result of military takeover on July 26, 2023.

“We are pleased to see that ECOWAS has responded to the progressive requests we made – individually and collectively – on the subject matter, and we commend their prudent and compassionate approach in addressing these critical issues.

“The Northern Senators’ Forum believes that the principled and empathetic decision made by ECOWAS to lift the sanctions on Niger Republic is a testament to the organisation’s commitment to regional solidarity, cooperation, and respect for human rights.”

“We understand that this action will go a long way in alleviating the suffering of the people of Niger Republic, as well as ensuring the restoration of stability and economic prosperity in our region.

 

“We are particularly grateful that ECOWAS leaders have considered our pleas to restore electricity, open borders, and lift the sanctions on Niger Republic.

“These measures will not only have crucial humanitarian implications but will also foster regional integration, trade, and cooperation. We firmly believe that this step taken by ECOWAS will positively impact the lives of the people of Niger Republic and Nigeria and facilitate the restoration of trust and harmony among all member-states.

“As representatives of the people and advocates for justice and democracy, we commend ECOWAS for their responsiveness and understanding of the immense challenges faced by our fellow West African nation.

“The Northern Senators’ Forum stands in solidarity with ECOWAS in restoring democracy and rule of law in Niger Republic and other west African countries, and we are committed to working to promote stability, peace, and socio-economic development throughout the region.

“The Northern Senators’ Forum urges the government of Niger Republic and its people to seize this opportunity to hasten the process of returning to democratic governance to build a stronger and more prosperous nation, harnessing their resilient spirit and unwavering determination.

“Furthermore, we urge all regional stakeholders to continue engaging in dialogue and pursuing peaceful solutions to address any remaining concern, fostering a harmonious environment for progress and development.

“Finally, the Northern Senators’ Forum would like to reiterate its deep appreciation to ECOWAS leaders, especially President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria, for their proactive and benevolent intervention in lifting the sanctions imposed on Niger Republic.

“We are confident that this decision will leave an indelible mark on the collective consciousness of all West African nations and serve as a shining example for resolving differences through dialogue and diplomacy.”

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