US Vice President Harris Discusses West African Democracy with Nigerian President Tinubu
US VP Harris and Nigerian President Tinubu Tackle West African Democracy
Vice President Kamala Harris of the United States (US) held a crucial conversation with Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, focusing on defending democracy in West Africa and addressing other pressing issues. The disclosure was made by Harris in the early hours of Friday, and she further emphasized the significance of the ties between Nigeria and the US in a tweet.
The phone call between the two leaders came at a critical juncture after neighboring Niger experienced a coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum from power. Harris’s tweet read, “Today, I spoke with President Tinubu of Nigeria about the strong ties between the Nigerian and American people and our shared work on global and regional issues—from defending democracy in West Africa and the Sahel to promoting digital inclusion and economic growth.”
President Tinubu, who also serves as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), condemned the recent coup in Niger. He staunchly pledged to resist any actions taken against the democratically-elected government of the West African nation.
Reports indicated that President Bazoum was detained by members of the Presidential Guard, who were given an “ultimatum” by the army. Dissatisfied members of the guard sealed off access to the president’s residence and offices, and despite efforts at dialogue, they refused to release the detained leader.
In response to the unfolding situation in Niger, Tinubu released a statement on Wednesday, stressing that ECOWAS was closely monitoring developments in the country. The ECOWAS chairman affirmed that any action impeding the smooth functioning of legitimate authority in Niger or any part of West Africa would not be tolerated.
Tinubu also reiterated the commitment of ECOWAS and all champions of democracy worldwide to ensure that constitutional order is upheld. He further expressed his determination to protect and nurture democracy within the region. “I am in close consultation with other leaders in our region, and we shall protect our hard-earned democracy in line with the universally acceptable principle of constitutionalism,” stated Tinubu.
Furthermore, Tinubu conveyed Nigeria’s unwavering support for the elected government in Niger, underscoring the absolute resolve of regional leaders to defend and preserve constitutional order.
The conversation between Vice President Harris and President Tinubu marks a significant moment in the pursuit of regional stability and the promotion of democracy in West Africa. As the situation in Niger continues to evolve, leaders from both Nigeria and the US stand committed to safeguarding democratic principles and fostering an environment conducive to growth and development in the region.