Nearly two weeks after the military took over power in Niger, the coup plotters have named former economy minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine as the country’s new prime minister.
A spokesman for the military junta made the announcement on television late on Monday night.
Lamine Zeine was formerly the minister of economy and finance for several years in the cabinet of then-president Mamadou Tandja, who was ousted in 2010, and most recently worked as an economist for the African Development Bank in Chad, according to a Nigerien media report.
At the end of July, the military ousted the democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum and suspended the constitution in the country of 26 million inhabitants.
Under Bazoum, Niger had been one of the last strategic partners of the West in the fight against the advance of Islamist terrorists in the Sahel.
An ultimatum from the Economic Community of West African States to the coup plotters to reinstate Bazoum expired over the weekend.
Otherwise, ECOWAS would take measures that could include force, the ultimatum said.
The prime ministers of the ECOWAS member states will now meet in Nigeria’s capital Abuja on Thursday to discuss how to proceed.
We congratulate Niger Republic for demonstrating such political maturity to avert disaffection in the region. We commend the action of the Junta and hope for future collaboration and the immediate restoration of the brotherlihood between Niger and neighbouring states.
We appeal to the FG of Nigeria to restore electricity supply to Niger Republic immediately and to ECOWAS to open all borders and other economic sanctions to Niger Republic.
We thank all those who have made efforts directly and indirectly to resolve this crisis, most especially the Special Envoys from President Tinubu- Rtd General Abdulsalam Abubakar & His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto, the EMA for their timely Court Action at the ECOWAS Court, to prevent any military action into Niger Republic, Headlinenews.news for their effective reportage, the National Patriots, Nigerians United for Peace and many other civil societies, media etc. Thank you all.
We thank God Almighty for restoring peace to Africa.
Dr. G. Fraser. MFR
Nigerians United for Peace NUP.