By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Citing its impact on neighbouring states in Nigeria, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament says time has come for the reversal of sanctions imposed on Niger, arising from the ouster of President Mohamed Bazoum by military junta.
The call was made to the Heads of State and Government of the regional body headed by Nigerian leader, President Bola Tinubu.
The ECOWAS Parliament made the appeal at the opening ceremony of the ECOWAS Parliament 2023 Second Ordinary session on Wednesday, at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja Nigeria.
Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Ali Ndume in an address to journalists expressed concern that seven Nigerian states bordering Niger Republic are at the receiving end of the sanctions.
He said, “Children and women have been exposed to untold hardship. No meaningful progress has been made in resolving this issue.
“We are appealing to ECOWAS states to lift the sanction and open the closed border between Niger and Nigeria because it is the poor that are suffering. Let me say this is a collective decision by concerned citizens.
“This press conference is simply an appeal to the ECOWAS Heads of State to consider the humanitarian situation and resolve the political impasse in Niger.”
The Head of State in ECOWAS had last July imposed sanctions on the Niger Republic to protest the ouster of President Mohamed Bazoum by certain military officers led by erstwhile Presidential Guard Commander, General Abdourahamane Tchiani.
The sanctions included the suspension of all commercial transactions with Niger, the freezing of its state assets in the regional central bank, freezing state and state enterprises’ assets in commercial banks, and the suspension of financial assistance with regional development banks.
“This Press conference is simply an appeal to the ECOWAS Heads of State to consider the humanitarian situation and resolve the political impasse in Niger,” Ndume added.