The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has announced sanctions against individuals collaborating with the military junta in the Republic of Niger.
The leadership of the regional body, on Tuesday, resolved to impose financial sanctions on the individuals and entities believed to be supporting the military junta in the Francophone country.
Ajuri Ngelale, special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on media and publicity, told state house correspondents that the ECOWAS chairman has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to implement the financial sanctions on those concerned.
The presidential spokesperson did not specify the sanctions and also did not reveal the identities of the individuals affected.
“Mr President has directed the acting CBN governor to levy another slate of sanctions against entities and individuals associated with the military junta in Niger public,” he said.
“I said that intentionally I didn’t make a mistake, because I was given permission to make that statement and I emphasised that this is not an individual action taken by an individual president on behalf of an individual nation.
“This is an action taken yes, by the ECOWAS chairman who is the president of Nigeria, but standing on the authority provided by the consensus resolution of all ECOWAS members and heads of state with regard to financial sanctions being levied by ECOWAS members states against the military junta in Niger Republic.
“There is an authority that we are standing on. It is not the Nigerian government’s authority, it is the authority of the resolution passed in public before now.”
Ngelale said the seven-day ultimatum issued against the military junta is not a personal decision taken by Tinubu but that of ECOWAS.
“Concerning the ultimatum given to the military Junta in Niger Republic, it is an ECOWAS mandate, and it is not a Nigerian ultimatum. It is not a Nigerian mandate,” he said.
“And the office of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, also serving as the chairman of ECOWAS, to emphasise this point, that due to certain domestic and international media coverage, tending toward personalisation of the ECOWAS sub-regional position to his person and to our nation individually.
“It is because of this that Mr President has deemed it necessary to state unequivocally that the mandate and ultimatum issued by ECOWAS is that of ECOWAS’ position.”
Following the military takeover in Niger Republic, ECOWAS issued a seven-day ultimatum to the junta to reinstate the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
Despite pressures from the organisation and other countries, the military leaders in the country have refused to reinstate Bazoum.
On Thursday, ECOWAS leaders will reconvene to discuss the crisis in Niger Republic.