The Niger junta’s plan of a three-year transition of power, presumably to a democratic administration, has been rejected by the Economic Community of West African States.
“Our ambition is not to confiscate power,” the Head of the military junta, General Abdourahamane Tiani said in a televised address. Any transition of power “would not go beyond three years”, he said.
However, in a live interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily Monday, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Amb. Abdel-Fatau Musah, declared that the West African bloc refused to accept it.
“This offer is completely unacceptable and ECOWAS insists on the restoration of constitutional order as quickly as possible,” he said, arguing that the commission had the experience of “these cat-and-mouse games with these military regimes”.
Musah mentioned Niger’s “new” constitution, which he stated was changed in 2017.
“What dramatic change do you need in the governance architecture of the country to require three years to experiment with something else? This is like subterfuge to throw ECOWAS off-course and then do whatever they want,” he said.
“In some other countries under the military regime in West Africa, they had about three years, and already they are ‘negotiating’ with their population to have another 18 months. Even a democratically elected president in Nigeria has only four years to run.
“So, what legitimacy do they have to already begin with three years? And we know it is not going to end there.”