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African leaders urged to avoid amendments in favour of tenure extension in Niger crisis



People who took part in an International Symposium discussing the crisis in Niger Republic and the future of African Integration have made a plea to leaders across the continent. They’re urging these leaders to avoid making changes to their country’s constitution just to extend their time in office.

This request was outlined in a statement that was released on Wednesday, following a meeting organized by the Center for Peace Studies at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS).

The statement was signed by Dr. Abubakar Mohammed and Prof. Muhammad Usman. Dr. Mohammed chaired the International Symposium, while Prof. Usman is the Director of the Center for Peace Studies at UDUS.

The individuals who participated in this event included diplomats, members of academic institutions, and organizations from civil society.

During the event, these participants emphasized the importance of African leaders continuing to uphold the principles of good governance.

Additionally, they called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to consistently enforce the rules outlined in the protocol that prevents member states from undergoing unconstitutional changes in government.

The stakeholders observed that historically and geographically Africa had been an integrated community.

“Religion, trade, language and other aspects of culture had contributed to the integration process in the history of Africa.

“As such, intercommunity relations and other forms of social and economic interactions should be strengthened to promote African integration,” the communique said.

The participants added that the sanctions imposed on Niger Republic were causing a lot of hardships and sufferings to the ordinary citizens of the country.

“As we are aware, good governance and democracy are the fundamental mechanisms for the promotion of peace and political stability.

“So, the channels of communication through dialogue and diplomacy initiated by ECOWAS should be sustained as opposed to the use of force to resolve the impasse in Niger Republic,” it added.

The stakeholders further urged the military regime in Niger Republic to in the spirit of reconciliation immediately release the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and other detained officials unconditionally.

It also charged that the period of the transition programme for a return to a democratic system in Niger Republic should not exceed one year.

They appealed on ECOWAS to lift the sanctions imposed on Niger Republic to restore electricity and allow for the supplies of food, medicines and other essential necessities for the citizens.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that four papers were presented at the meeting by Prof. Mukhtar Bunza, Prof. Toyin Falola, Prof. Aja Akpuru-Aja and Dr Musa Umar.