Bola Tinubu facing the choice of weapons

Elected president less than six months ago, brought to the head of ECOWAS a few weeks ago, the Nigerian head of state stands today against the putschists in Niger. But will he go so far as to put on his warlord clothes?

Does the destiny of West Africa rest on the shoulders of one man: Bola Tinubu, President of Nigeria, the one who was called a few months ago “the godfather of Lagos”? Appointed head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on July 9, 2023, just 41 days after his inauguration at the presidential palace in Abuja, he then delivered an unequivocal first speech to his peers of the regional organization: there would no longer be any tolerance for coups d’etat.

Barely three weeks later, his determination was to be severely tested: on July 26, General Abourahamane Tiani’s men seized President Mohamed Bazoum in Niamey and formalized their seizure of power in neighboring Niger a few hours later. Northern Nigeria and Abuja’s strongest partner in the fight against terrorism in the region. In 2021 and 2022, ECOWAS was content to impose economic sanctions on Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea after previous putschs. Was she going to adopt the same line under Bola Tinubu?

This article is originally published on jeuneafrique.com

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