Ghana Baptist Convention Urges Peace and Dialogue in Niger Crisis

Russell Nketiah Tannor

Ghana Baptist Convention Urges Peace and Dialogue in Niger Crisis

The Ghana Baptist Convention (GBC), the largest Baptist denomination in Ghana, has issued a statement expressing its concern over the recent coup attempt in Niger and urging African leaders to adopt a peaceful and democratic approach to resolve the crisis. 

The GBC, which consists of about 1,860 local churches in Ghana, said that it was saddened by the news of the attempted coup against Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum, who was elected in February 2023 and sworn in on April 2, 2023. 

The GBC said that it condemned any form of violence and unconstitutional change of government in Africa, and called on the coup plotters to release Bazoum and respect the will of the Nigerien people. 

The GBC also appealed to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), and other regional and international bodies to intervene diplomatically and prevent any further escalation of the situation. 

The GBC said that it was praying for peace and stability in Niger and the entire continent, and urged African leaders to learn from the mistakes of the past and embrace dialogue, good governance, and respect for human rights. 

The GBC also expressed its solidarity with the Christian community in Niger, which is a predominantly Muslim country with a history of religious intolerance and persecution. The GBC said that it hoped that the coup attempt would not affect the freedom of worship and expression of Christians and other religious minorities in Niger. 

The GBC statement was signed by its Executive President, Rev. Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, who is also a member of the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) and the Ghana Evangelism Committee (GEC). 

The coup attempt in Niger occurred on July 26, 2023, when members of the Presidential Guard detained Bazoum inside his palace in Niamey, the capital city. The incident triggered a standoff with the army and sparked global condemnation.  

Bazoum has refused to give up power and has been negotiating with the coup leaders, while ECOWAS and AU have threatened to impose sanctions and military intervention if he is not reinstated.  

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, facing multiple challenges such as insecurity, terrorism, climate change, poverty, and corruption. It is also a strategic ally of France and the United States in the fight against armed groups in the Sahel region.

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