May 28, 2024
All your news, One Platform!
0803 333 3333
info@inewszone.com
Search
Generic filters

AS ECOWAS DEADLINE ENDS. . . Opposition Swells Against Military Action In Niger

August 7, 2023

More individuals and organisations have spoken out against military intervention in Niger Republic following the coup in the country.

Following the forceful takeover of power in Niger by the country’s Commander of the Presidential Guards, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, after he overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, currently led by President Bola Tinubu had threatened the junta with forceful removal from power.

Yesterday, a Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) said it joined other Nigerians, particularly the Northern Senators Forum, in rejecting the option of war and called instead for political and diplomatic means to restore democratic government in that country.

The CNG, in a statement by the spokesperson Abdulazeez Suleiman, and made available to LEADERSHIP in Abuja yesterday, called on the federal government not to rush into war without exhausting every economic and diplomatic means to pressure the junta in Niger to return power to the democratically elected government.

Cautioning Bola Tinubu, CNG said: “In consideration of our own national interest, a military intervention in Niger must be an absolutely last option for Nigeria, given our own present domestic fragility.”

The coalition also invited ECOWAS and the international community to understand that bilateral friendships are guided by the principles of sovereignty, promotion of peace and the standards that guide legitimate interference, and reminded Nigeria, ECOWAS and the international community to weigh the impact and consequences of a destabilised Niger Republic which will certainly threaten the peace and security of the entire sub-Saharan Africa.

It also warned that a war in Niger will only compound the security and humanitarian situations in the West African subregion and further worsen the situation in the African continent, disrupt international cohesion, compound the despondent cases of human trafficking, migration and other challenges the continent and the world are now facing.

It specifically cautioned President Tinubu that acceding to such a dangerous, ill-advised, self-destructive option of leading a war in Niger Republic has the potential to consume not only him but also Nigeria and the ECOWAS he heads today and called on the Nigerian Senate the Council of State and Nigerian Governors Forum to guide the President properly against leading a military intervention in Niger and to the imperative of restoring electricity supply to it.

More individuals and organisations have spoken out against military intervention in Niger Republic following the coup in the country.

The forceful takeover of power in Niger by the country’s Commander of the Presidential Guards, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, after he overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, currently led by President Bola Tinubu had threatened the junta with forceful removal from power.

Yesterday, a Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) said it joined other Nigerians, particularly the Northern Senators Forum, in rejecting the option of war and called instead for political and diplomatic means to restore democratic government in that country.

The CNG, in a statement by the spokesperson Abdulazeez Suleiman, and made available to LEADERSHIP in Abuja yesterday, called on the federal government not to rush into war without exhausting every economic and diplomatic means to pressure the junta in Niger to return power to the democratically elected government.

Cautioning Bola Tinubu, CNG said: “In consideration of our own national interest, a military intervention in Niger must be an absolutely last option for Nigeria, given our own present domestic fragility.”

The coalition also invited ECOWAS and the international community to understand that bilateral friendships are guided by the principles of sovereignty, promotion of peace and the standards that guide legitimate interference, and reminded Nigeria, ECOWAS and the international community to weigh the impact and consequences of a destabilised Niger Republic which will certainly threaten the peace and security of the entire sub-Saharan Africa.

It also warned that a war in Niger will only compound the security and humanitarian situations in the West African subregion and further worsen the situation in the African continent, disrupt international cohesion, compound the despondent cases of human trafficking, migration and other challenges the continent and the world are now facing.

It specifically cautioned President Tinubu that acceding to such a dangerous, ill-advised, self-destructive option of leading a war in Niger Republic has the potential to consume not only him but also Nigeria and the ECOWAS he heads today and called on the Nigerian Senate the Council of State and Nigerian Governors Forum to guide the President properly against leading a military intervention in Niger and to the imperative of restoring electricity supply to it.

The coalition also reminded the Senate and the Nigerian Presidency that Nigeria entered into bilateral agreements to export electricity to Niger, Benin and Togo so that the three countries will not build dams on River Niger and the purported cut of supply to Niger could amount to breach of that agreement.

Also yesterday, the Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI) cautioned the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against military action in Niger Republic to restore democracy.

The association condemned the military seizure of power in the Niger Republic and expressed support for the efforts of ECOWAS towards restoring democracy in the West African country.

A statement by the national publicity secretary of AANI Brig.-Gen Sani Usman (rtd) urged the regional body to consider the immediate and long-term implications of its actions on the people of the Niger Republic and the wider West African sub-region.

The statement reads,”Addressing the root causes of the political crisis in the Niger Republic and strengthening the democratic institutions in the country is vital to achieving lasting peace and stability in the region.

“AANI, therefore, urges caution against immediate military action.”

The group, however, advised that non-military options like diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions should be adopted towards a peaceful resolution and a quicker return to democratic governance in the Niger Republic.

“Military action by ECOWAS may escalate the current situation into a humanitarian crisis and worsen the security challenges in the West African sub-region. It may also escalate tensions in the fragile security situation in the Lake Chad region and other parts of West Africa, attracting other armed groups and external actors to take advantage of it. This would exacerbate the security challenges and create a more complex and dangerous situation. It is, therefore, essential to prioritise peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the political crisis.

“ECOWAS should upscale diplomatic efforts to persuade the military leaders in Niger to relinquish power and allow the democratically elected government to reclaim the people’s mandate. By avoiding military intervention, ECOWAS would have demonstrated commitment to peaceful conflict resolution and regional stability.”

Similarly, a peace and conflict studies expert, Prof. Isaac Albert, has cautioned Tinubu against embarking on a military action against Niger Republic over the overthrow of the civilian administration in the country.

Albert, a fellow of Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday that the action might be more dangerous, as it was capable of leading to the springing up of more terrorist groups.

“Tinubu should seek the advice of security experts before leading the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on invading Niger, especially due to Nigeria’s current internal security challenge.

“Attacking Niger at this point in time is not the best option because it may give rise to more terrorist groups to connive and attack Nigeria.

“Yes, Nigeria and ECOWAS may be able to defeat Niger in the short run, but Nigeria may have Boko Haram, Russia-backed Wagner and other terrorist organisations to contend with in the long run.

“We must not forget that the Nigerian army is substantially helping Nigeria to curtail the activities of Boko Haram along its border.

“Moreover, most of the countries claiming to be supporting Nigeria today may be our enemies at the end of the day.

“Furthermore, where will Nigeria and ECOWAS get the required funds to pursue the invasion?

“Ghana, The Gambia, Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire Coast, Togo and other ECOWAS member-states, alongside Nigeria, are in economic crises and struggling to satisfy the yawning of their people,” he said.

Albert described as unnecessary the cutting off of power supply to Niger by Nigeria.

According to him, it will not take the Nigerien military junta much time to build their own electricity through their international allies.

He said that Nigeria might lose its electricity if Niger decided to block the dams through which it generated power

“What Nigeria and ECOWAS should do is simply to explore diplomatic options. They should rather have a meeting with the Nigerien military junta on when they hope to leave and possibly pressure them into organising elections within the next six months.

“It will take them more time on the battlefield than diplomatically resolving the matter,” Albert said.

In his own submission, a professor of comparative politics, Gbade Ojo, said that bad governance on the part of civilian leaders brought about recent military take-over in some African countries.

Ojo of the Department of Political Science, University of Ilorin, pointed out that nothing good would come out of the impending military action against Niger, if the citizens of the country had decided to accept the military junta.

According to him, many civilian leaders in Africa are encouraging coups because of their sit-tight leadership style.

ECOWAS, under the chairman of Tinubu, had recently given Niger’s coup leaders up until yesterday to step down and reinstate the democratically-elected president or face military action.

When LEADERSHIP contacted the director of communications at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Mr. Amos Lungu, on the next move of the bloc, he responded that a communique would soon be issued on the matter by the leaders of the sub-region.

The military option may also have suffered a setback as Tinubu on Saturday failed to secure the approval of the Senate to deploy the country’s military for any action against Niger as the lawmakers opted for more diplomacy and political settlement.

Also yesterday, a source at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs told our correspondent that the West African leaders have in recent days come under intense pressure to abandon the military intervention and they appeared to have succumbed to it over fear of unimaginable consequences.

LEADERSHIP had a glimpse of a possible reversal of the military threat against the ruling junta in Niger by ECOWAS when on Friday August 4, the Nigerian Government declared that the military action to restore democratic order in Niger Republic remains the last option if diplomacy fails to resolve the impasse.

The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, disclosed this on Friday while briefing members of the diplomatic corps following the July 26 military coup in Niger Republic that toppled President Mohamed Bazoum, the democratically elected president of the country.

Lamuwa told the diplomatic community that the Nigerian Government and the ECOWAS had intensified diplomatic efforts to persuade the military junta to restore democratic order in the beleaguered country.

Tinubu Meets Bordering State Governors Over Niger Situation

President Bola Tinubu has engaged in crucial consultations with governors from states sharing borders with Niger Republic on Sunday evening.

The gathering served as a vital platform for the President to address the escalating situation in Niger.

Notable among those who attended included Sokoto State governor, Ahmed Aliyu ,Jigawa State governor, Umar Namadi, Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni , Kebbi State Governor, Idris Nasir and Katsina State governor , Dikko Radda .

Arewa Women, CSOs Write ECOWAS, Reject Military Action In Niger

Arewa women and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Northern coalition have written to the Chairman, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Nigeria President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, rejecting any planned military action in Niger.

The letter, dated 5th August 2023 and addressed to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman of ECOWAS, was jointly signed by their leader, Kabiru S. Chafe, Arewa Research and Development Project, Babayola M. Toungo and Abubakar Siddique Mohammed; Centre for Democratic Development, Research and Training, Massoud Omar; Jam’iyyar Matan Arewa, Hajiya Rabi Saulawa and Mrs. Doshiya Barwa Aboy, Hashim Tom Maiyashi and Ms Latifa Abdulsalam of Joint Action Committee of Northern Youth Associations.

“We acknowledge that the political situation in the Niger Republic poses a significant threat to the growth of democracy in West Africa. However, we firmly believe that the proposed military intervention or economic sanctions as a response to the military coup is not only legally deficient but will also practically exacerbate the crisis and inflict further suffering on the innocent people in Niger Republic and the wider region.

“This would further undermine the future of democracy and peaceful co-existence in Niger Republic and the West African sub region.”

“In the current circumstances military intervention in Niger Republic, no matter how well- intentioned, carries the inherent risk of escalating violence in the affected country. A military response to the political crisis in the country could result in armed confrontations, indiscriminate attacks, and potential war crimes. The already vulnerable civilian population would be at greater risk of becoming victims of violence, leading to a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the region,” the CSOs said.

Furthermore, they said, Niger Republic’s political crisis has the potential to spill over into neighboring countries, impacting regional security and stability. “Any military intervention or economic sanctions imposed by ECOWAS may lead to increased cross-border conflicts and intensify existing security challenges in the West African region. A peaceful resolution to the crisis is vital to ensure regional cooperation and collective efforts towards lasting stability,” they said.

(Courtesy:Leadership)

 

Share to:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Copyright 2021 inewszone Media
cross-circle