Former President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock over the coup in the Niger Republic that overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum.
Recall that Abdourahamane Tiani, a general and former head of Bazoum’s presidential guard, was declared as Niger’s new head of state.
Bazoum’s presidential guard had held him hostage in the palace on Wednesday, on account of “bad governance and worsening security”.
Some of Bazoum’s supporters took to the streets of Niamey, Niger’s capital, in protests, clashing with those who were in favour of the coup.
Following the coup, the office of the Nigerien president through its Twitter account, said it remained positive that democracy would prevail.
“The hard-won achievements will be safeguarded. All Nigeriens who love democracy and freedom will see to it,” the tweet said.
In a statement released on Friday by Garba Shehu, Buhari’s spokesperson, the former president said he was concerned about the safety of Bazoum and his family.
“As to be expected, I, just like millions of other Nigerians, am shocked by the latest turn of events in Niger Republic, our neighbour to the north,” the statement reads.
“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.”
Bazoum had survived an attempted coup days before his inauguration as president in 2021.
Buhari described the action as “utterly naïve” and warned “coup plotters to learn a lesson from history on the consequences of instability caused by violent takeover of governments”.
BUHARI HAILS TINUBU FOR ECOWAS INTERVENTION
Following the initial signs of the coup on Wednesday, President Bola Tinubu, also the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), condemned the actions in Niger.
Tinubu said ECOWAS would not tolerate any anti-democratic acts in its region and said the union would do everything in its power to ensure peace returns to the West African country.
Shortly after his statement, President Patrice Talon of Benin was deployed to Niger to assess the situation.
Buhari, a former ECOWAS chairperson, applauded Tinubu’s speedy intervention and expressed hope that the situation will be completely rectified.
“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 are ensured,” the former president said.