“We are deep in our attempts to peacefully settle the issue in Niger by leveraging on our diplomatic tools.
“I continue to hold ECOWAS back, despite its readiness for all options, in order to exhaust all other remedial mechanisms.
“War is not ideal for my economic reforms, nor for the region, but the defense of democracy is sacrosanct.”
These were the words of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu when he received in audience, August 26, the U.S. Presidential Envoy and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Molly Phee at the Presidential villa, Abuja.
He said that the ECOWAS consensus is that they would not allow anyone to insincerely buy time, but that he did not believe in war.
President Tinubu made it clear that the crisis in Niger Republic would not deter him from concluding his economic reform programme successfully for the benefit of Nigerians.
He stressed that he would not take a queue from any nation and that he would only advance the interest of the Nigerian state in his approach toward ECOWAS’ handling of the regional standoff.
President Tinubu said that African democracies are currently under assault by anti-democratic forces within and outside the continent.
The President noted that American-backed development finance and multilateral institutions, which were designed to support war-torn Europe after World War II, require swift and comprehensive reform to meet the developmental requirements of younger democracies in Africa, which operate in authoritarian-crowded environments, such that the legitimate yearnings of Africans would no longer be manipulated to serve the narrow aims of self-seeking demagogues through unconstitutional takeovers of power.
“Yes, the private sector will lead the way within an enabling environment we create for them, but the U.S. Government must be innovative in its thinking and systematically create incentives for U.S. industrial investment in Nigeria. Under my leadership, Nigeria stands ready to address their specific regulatory, tax and environmental concerns. I am determined to create prosperity for all Nigerian families.”
Meanwhile, the visiting Special Presidential Envoy pledged his country’s support for the position of ECOWAS, and that the U.S government had high regard for Tinubu as Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
He extended an exclusive invitation to President Tinubu, from U.S. President, Joe Biden to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City to advance discussions further in late September this year.
“We know there is more we can do to incentivize large-scale American investment in Nigeria and we are committed to working closely with you to achieve that, as part of efforts to strengthen the Nigerian economy and the regional economy.
“We appreciate your willingness to create an enabling environment for that.
“President Joe Biden is asking to meet with you on the sidelines of UNGA, and you are the only African leader he has requested to meet. It is a mark of his high regard for your leadership.”
President Tinubu instantly accepted the invitation to meet the U.S. President on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and that the work of perfecting democracy is never done, even in developed democracies, as seen recently in America, as well as other emerging democracies in the world.