By Deji Elumoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned in strong terms the attempted coup in Niger Republic, saying “any illegal effort to depose a democratically elected government is not only despicable, but also unacceptable to democratic governments around the world.”
Reports earlier on Wednesday said gunshots were heard near the Presidential Villa in Niger.
The Media Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement on Wednesday evening quoted President as speaking in a telephone conversation with Mahamadou Issoufou, his counterpart and outgoing President on the situation in Niger Republic, during which he warned that “the international community is hostile to the change of government by violent and unconstitutional means.”
President Buhari said: “It is utterly naive to attempt the removal of an elected government by force. Military political adventurers should respect the will of the people and respect constitutional order.
“I’m particularly concerned about the negative impact of coups on African stability, peace and progress. Nigeria cannot be indifferent to these dangers to Africa. Coups are out of fashion and the involvement of the military in violent change of government is doing more harm than good to Africa”.
He urged African leaders to “remain united against coups under whatever guise or form,” warning coup plotters to learn lesson from history on the consequences of instability caused by violent takeover of governments.
President Buhari used the occasion to congratulate the President-elect Mohamed Bazoum on his election victory and the outgoing President’s commitment to orderly and peaceful transfer of power.
The Nigerian leader also applauded the Niger’s security forces for suppressing the onslaught against the democratically elected Government of the people of Niger Republic.