Nigeria has consented to reinstating electricity supply to Niger Republic following the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decision to lift sanctions on Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea. The sanctions were rescinded during an extraordinary summit on the political, peace, and security situation in the sub-region, held at the State House Conference Hall in Abuja,Daily Trust reports.

Earlier forecasts by Daily Trust on Sunday had hinted at the likelihood of ECOWAS lifting sanctions on Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Retired General Yakubu Gowon, a former Nigerian head of state and a founding leader of ECOWAS, had urged the regional bloc to lift all sanctions on the three countries, along with advocating for the withdrawal of their notices to quit ECOWAS.

Nigeria’s imposition of sanctions, including the cessation of electricity supply to Niger Republic in August last year, was part of ECOWAS’ response to the coup in Niger. This move had significantly affected the daily lives of Nigeriens.

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In November, senators from northern Nigeria urged President Bola Tinubu, who chairs ECOWAS, to restore electricity to Niger Republic. President Tinubu subsequently called for the suspension of economic sanctions on Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, emphasizing the importance of dialogue and regional stability.

The communique read by Dr. Omar Touray, president of the ECOWAS Commission, outlined the lifting of various sanctions imposed on Niger and other affected countries. The decision was motivated by humanitarian concerns, especially during the Lenten and upcoming Ramadan seasons.

Additionally, ECOWAS resolved to lift sanctions related to the recruitment of Malian citizens and to extend invitations to Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Guinea for technical and consultative meetings. The Authority also urged the release of Mohammed Bazoom, the ousted president of Niger Republic, and called for the provision of an acceptable transition timetable in Niger.

Regarding the intention of the three countries to withdraw from ECOWAS, the Authority encouraged dialogue, mediation, and adherence to the provisions of the 1993 revised treaty relating to withdrawal. It emphasized the importance of broader engagement with traditional, religious, civil society, and women leaders for regional unity and security.

Moreover, ECOWAS reiterated the urgent need to operationalize the standby force to combat terrorism in the region and commended President Macky Sall of Senegal for his leadership, urging stakeholders in Senegal to prioritize dialogue for democratic stability.


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