Ambassador Yusuf Abubakar Tuggar currently serves as Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. In a recent interview on Trust TV’s “30 Minutes with Mannir Dan-Ali,” he discussed various topics, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decisions on Niger, border closure, and diplomatic considerations,Daily Trusrt reports.
Tuggar addressed the recent ECOWAS Summit, emphasizing the regional organization’s commitment to regional integration, harmony, peace, and overall security in the region. Regarding the situation in Niger, he clarified that ECOWAS has taken pragmatic steps to address the current challenges and work towards a resolution.
When questioned about a perceived shift in Nigeria and ECOWAS’ stance on the new military government in Niger, Tuggar explained that it was not about eating humble pie but rather adopting a pragmatic approach. He highlighted the collective decision of ECOWAS leaders to demand the release of President Bazoum, impose sanctions, and explore diplomatic solutions, with the use of force as a last resort.
Responding to speculation about external influence, Tuggar dismissed the notion that Nigeria was doing the bidding of foreign powers, emphasizing that foreign policy decisions are shaped by various factors within the country and not limited to a specific government or leader.
Tuggar refuted the idea that the reconsideration of ECOWAS’ position was influenced by external pressures, pointing to the pragmatic nature of the organization’s approach. He emphasized the need for peace and reiterated ECOWAS’s conditions, including the release of President Bazoum and associates, for the removal of sanctions.
In response to the junta’s accusations that certain individuals were obstructing a resolution, Tuggar clarified that ECOWAS’s position was clear: release Bazoum and his family, and then the sanctions could be lifted. He noted that the junta’s refusal to comply was influenced by external actors offering financial incentives.
When questioned about Niger’s financial situation, Tuggar suggested directing such inquiries to the junta and emphasized the concrete evidence of external actors offering money to influence the situation. Throughout the interview, Tuggar maintained that ECOWAS’s approach was pragmatic and focused on achieving peace in the region.