Some members of the ECOWAS Parliament on Wednesday called on the Heads of State of the regional body to end the sanctions on the Niger Republic, imposed after a military coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that nine members of the parliament made the call at a news briefing in Abuja.
The parliamentarians are attending the current session of the Parliament at the ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja, which will run from Nov. 22 to Dec. 15, 2023.
Sen. Ali Ndume of Nigeria, the ECOWAS Parliament second and third Deputy Speakers, as well as of Mr Djibo Amadou, Mr Issa Salifou, and Abdulahi Salame, were among those who appealed.
Ndume said that the sanctions imposed had increased the sufferings of poor people in the Niger Republic and communities in neighbouring countries, including Nigeria.
“We are here to address the press on the current happenings in Niger. You will recall that there was a change of government in Niger on July 30 of this year.
“Immediately thereafter, the ECOWAS Heads of States and other states imposed sanctions on Niger, which we thought was a temporary situation and the issue would be resolved.
“But it’s getting to five months into the political impasse. The only thing we know that is happening due to the imposed sanction is the increased suffering of the poor in Niger and to some extent Nigeria.
“You know that Niger is bordering about seven states of Nigeria, namely; Borno, Yobe, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi.
“Since the closure of the borders and imposition of sanctions, poor people especially children and women, have been exposed to untold hardship, and no meaningful progress has been made in terms of resolving this issue.
“We are therefore using this opportunity of the 2nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament to appeal to the ECOWAS Heads of States to come to the aid of the poor people affected in these areas,’’ he said.
Others who spoke in Hausa and French supporting ending the sanctions imposed on Niger were the 2nd Deputy Speaker, Mr Sani Malam Chaibou Boucary from Niger, and Memounatou Ibrahim from Togo, the 3rd Deputy Speaker, among others.