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Nigeria urges release of Niger Republic's deposed President Mohamed Bazoum

The president has been in custody since a junta took control in Niger earlier this year.

Ousted President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger Republic. [Channels TV]

The president has been in custody since a junta took control in Niger earlier this year.

Minister Tuggar, speaking to Channels Television on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Conference in Dubai, stated Nigeria's pivotal role in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc and assured that the nation would persist in its efforts to secure President Bazoum's freedom.

"We have made it clear, we spelled it out. 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," the minister asserted.

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Tuggar dismissed any notion that Nigeria is applying undue pressure on Niger Republic, stating, "So, let no picture be painted that Nigeria is the one being difficult or that ECOWAS – because it was an ECOWAS decision – is being difficult. We continue to talk with them; to engage, and our doors will continue to be open to those in charge in Niger as of now. The opportunity is there. We are always ready, willing, and able to listen to them, and the ball is in their court."

Addressing speculations about external influences on Nigeria's stance, Minister Tuggar firmly stated, "There is no conflict between Nigeria and Niger. The people of Nigeria and Niger, we are brothers. We are not against them, and don’t let anybody fool you that Nigeria is being dictated to by some other country what to do."

He noted Nigeria's consistent track record in supporting just causes across the continent, citing historical interventions in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola, and Mozambique. Tuggar also drew parallels to Nigeria's current advocacy for the Palestinian cause.

"This is exactly what we’re also saying about the situation in Niger. We remain consistent," Minister Tuggar affirmed, dispelling claims of external influence as "pure propaganda" and "lies." As diplomatic efforts continue, Nigeria stands firm in its call for the release of President Bazoum and a resolution to the political situation in Niger Republic.

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