Immediate past Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over the recent coup in the Niger Republic, saying the development is unwanted and has left him “shocked”.
He said this in a statement on his Twitter handle on Friday, describing the recent wave of events in the West African nation as “unwanted”.
“As to be expected, I, like millions of other Nigerians, am shocked by the latest turn of events in Niger Republic,” he said.
“Concerns have been raised about the fate of democracy as a system of government in the country and in the wider sub-region, and equally so, about the safety of President Mohammed Bazoum and his family.
“I and my family are as much concerned about these as is everyone else.”
As to be expected, I, like millions of other Nigerians, am shocked by the latest turn of events in Niger Republic.
Concerns have been raised about the fate of democracy as a system of government in the country and in the wider sub-region, and equally so, about the safety of…
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) July 28, 2023
The former president, who served between 2015 and 2023, however, expressed joy over West African leaders’ response to the matter.
“It is heartening to note that the ECOWAS, under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is already dealing effectively with the matter, and our hope and prayers are that the unwanted situation will be completely reversed, and the safety and wellbeing of President Bazoum and his family ensured,” Buhari added.
On the third day since President Mohamed Bazoum was detained, former colonial master France demanded the restoration of the government saying it “does not recognise” the putschists, and calling Bazoum the “sole president”.
The coup has prompted mounting concern and Kenyan President William Ruto called the army takeover “a serious setback” for Africa.
“The aspirations of the people of Niger for constitutional democracy were subverted by an unconstitutional change of government,” he said in a video message.
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West African leaders will meet Sunday in the Nigerian capital Abuja to discuss the coup, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu said.
“ECOWAS and the international community would do everything to defend democracy and ensure democratic governance continues to take firm root in the region,” Tinubu, who is also the chairman of The Economic Community of West African States regional bloc said in a statement.
The European Union threatened to cut aid to Niamey after what it said was a “serious attack on stability and democracy”. Bazoum and his family have been confined since Wednesday morning to their residence at the presidential palace located within the 700-strong Presidential Guard’s military camp.