Tinubu Sends Senegal’s 44-Year-Old President Faye To ‘Persuade’ Coup Leaders After Failed ECOWAS Sanctions

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu has called on Senegal’s 44-year-old President Bassirou Diomaye Faye to help persuade the military leaders who staged coups in several West African nations to return to constitutional democratic rule.

During Faye’s visit to the State House in Abuja on Thursday, Tinubu, who doubles as the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), stressed the importance of protecting democratic governance and constitutional order across the region.

“As the Chairman of ECOWAS, I am inviting you to collaborate and meet those other brothers. To persuade them to come back to the fold,” Tinubu told his Senegalese counterpart.

In recent years, West Africa has seen a resurgence of military coups, with seven countries experiencing unconstitutional seizures of power since 2020 – the latest being an attempted coup in Gabon.

The nations hit include Niger, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Guinea and Mali.

Tinubu stressed that the judiciary, rule of law and democratic values must be respected to sustain democracy in the region, while calling for a unified approach to tackle challenges like terrorism, human trafficking, banditry and poverty.

“We are brothers. We have shared interest in democracy. To make democracy sustainable in the interest of our people, we definitely must work hard.

“I am glad that you are a shining example of patience, perseverance, and commitment to democratic values.

“We must partner to make our people the focus of our democratic commitment. Your belief in the sovereignty of Africa is shared by all of us. But how can we work for our people and make them the focus of our democracy if we are violating the rule of law and promoting unconstitutional takeover of government?” he queried.

On his part, Faye acknowledged the shared democratic ideals of Nigeria and Senegal, dating back to the 1960s.

He expressed confidence that with Tinubu’s “wisdom and experience,” relations among ECOWAS members can be strengthened.

“The good relations we have and the relations between our private sectors should be beneficial to our countries,” he said.

Faye called for the reactivation of the Nigeria-Senegal joint commission to strengthen bilateral relations across the areas of diplomacy, trade, and other spheres.

Responding to Tinubu’s request urging him to prevail on coup leaders in West African nations to embrace democracy, Faye said: “ECOWAS is the beacon of successful regional integration in Africa and globally. It is something we owe to the founding fathers of the community, and I have no doubt that you want to continue this legacy of integration. The union is going through a rough patch, but not everything is lost.

“I know I can rely on your wisdom and experience, as the leader of this great African nation, and the more recent example of Senegal; so that together, hand in hand, we can grow together, and that we can discuss with our brothers and convince them to come back into the fold. To come back and share our common democratic values and what we stand for.

“Your wisdom and your democratic values should be an asset to that vision, and my youth and determination can also be an asset. If we come together, with all these assets and advantages, I am convinced we can open a window of opportunity to discuss.

“United, we are stronger. Faced with common challenges, such as human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and all other challenges, we need to show resolve to confront these challenges so that economically we can thrive and satisfy the wishes of our people,” the Senegalese President said.

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