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Nigeria seeks return to civil rule in Guinea

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Nigeria has asked the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to ensure immediate return of democratic rule to Guinea after the recent military coup in the country.
Nigeria also called for a short transition programme that will usher in a new civilian government in the country.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who stood in for President Muhammadu Buhari at the recently concluded Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS member-states, convened the position of the country in Accra, Ghana to members.

At the last summit of ECOWAS leaders held virtually on September 8, Nigeria, had condemned the coup de‘tat in Guinea, calling for an unconditional release of President Alpha Conde, and for stringent measures on Guinea’s military junta.
Speaking at the Accra summit, Osinbajo restated Nigeria’s position, urging for the unconditional release of President Condé and calling for more pressure on the country’s military leaders to return the nation to democratic rule.
“It is also important that ECOWAS should simply insist that there should be an immediate return to civil rule.”
Calling for more stringent measures to be taken by the sub-regional body, the Vice President said “we must make sure that sanctions by ECOWAS achieve the intended objectives.”
He restated the call to engage global bodies and Africa’s development partners in taking steps to prevent such unconstitutional change of government in countries on the continent.
“In this connection, I think we should engage all well-meaning stakeholders including the Africa Union, European Union, United Nations, developmental partners, and financial institutions to join in taking more stringent measures by imposing travel bans and freezing of offshore financial assets of the coupists and their collaborators to ensure that they do return the country to democracy immediately,” Osinbajo said.
Nigeria again demanded the unconditional release of President Conde and respect for his physical integrity, with the Vice President urging leaders in the sub-region to also insist on a civilian-led transition.

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While noting that although the military junta in Guinea had started consultation with critical stakeholders towards transitioning the country to civil rule, Osinbajo reiterated Nigeria’s stance, condemning military intervention and unconstitutional change of government in the West African country.

He called on the junta “to transparently restore constitutional order without delay,” adding that “such a process should be led by a civilian.
“While we condemn the development in Guinea, and affirm that no matter how popular the grievance against an elected leadership may be, the forceful seizure of power is an unacceptable assault on the dignity of a free people and their right to freely elect their leaders.

“We nevertheless must strongly urge all ECOWAS Member States to respect the principles of democracy and the constitutions of our respective countries.”

On the update of the situation in Mali, the Vice President again commended former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan “for his continued commitment and engagement with the various stakeholders in Mali.”
He commended the efforts of stakeholders in resolving the situation in Mali and restated the call of leaders of the sub-region to the Malian transition government to strictly respect and follow the electoral time table for transition to civil rule.
“I further call for the continued support and collaboration of all major players in the country’s March towards a successful transition”.
Assuring that Nigeria will continue to closely monitor the situation in Guinea, Osinbajo pledged Nigeria’s support in ensuring that only democratic processes are adopted in changing governments in the sub-region.

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