In a resolute stance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, has affirmed Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to engage with the Niger Republic’s government for the release of the deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum.
Despite facing challenges in detention under the military junta, Nigeria, a key player in the ECOWAS bloc, asserts that it will persist in pressing for Bazoum’s freedom.
In August, General Abdulsalami Abubakar revealed that Bazoum conveyed the difficulties he encountered since the military junta, led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani, took control in July, leaving him detained.
Tuggar, speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Conference in Dubai, emphasized that Nigeria faces no external pressure in its dealings with the Niger Republic.
“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 stated emphatically.
The minister refuted claims that Nigeria was being difficult or dictated by external forces, asserting the enduring brotherhood between the people of Nigeria and Niger.
He highlighted Nigeria’s historical commitment to standing for what is right on the continent, citing its roles in the fight for freedom in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola, and Mozambique.
Tuggar dismissed notions of external influence, labeling them as “pure propaganda” and emphasizing Nigeria’s consistent track record in supporting just causes globally.
As the ball remains in the court of those in charge in Niger, Tuggar reiterated Nigeria’s openness to dialogue and engagement, signaling a diplomatic approach to resolve the situation and secure Bazoum’s release.