The Nigeria senate has decided to take a different route from President Bola Tinubu’s decision to engage in a military measure against the “coupists” in the Republic of Niger by urging the Economic Community of West African Community to take a diplomatic decision to address the situation. On Friday, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is
The Nigeria senate has decided to take a different route from President Bola Tinubu’s decision to engage in a military measure against the “coupists” in the Republic of Niger by urging the Economic Community of West African Community to take a diplomatic decision to address the situation.
On Friday, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is also the chairman of the ECOWAS wrote the upper lawmakers, seeking approval on deploying the military into Niger, following the coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum from office.
President Tinubu, in his letter to the senate, notified the lawmakers that the West African countries under his leadership had resolved to military intervention to restore democratic government in Niger, seeking support from the senate to implement the resolution.
Giving the military junta just seven days to restore democratic government in the country, ECOWAS has imposed sanctions on the country including the cutting of electricity supplies and closing of its border with other West African countries.
Reacting to the letter of support written on Friday, Godswill Akpabio, the president of the red chamber stated that President Tinubu’s letter to the senate was not to instigate war in the region but to implement the ECOWAS resolutions on the matter.
Commending the parent role played by the regional body since the beginning of the situation in Niger Republic, Senator Akpabio condemned the military coup in Niger Republic, tagging it an unfortunate incident in the region, he called for diplomatic options instead of military actions on Niger situation.
“The senate Recognizes the fact that President Tinubu by virtue of his correspondence had not asked for the approval of the parliament or Senate to go to war, has been erroneously suggested in some quarters, rather the President had expressed “a wish to respectfully solicit the support of the National Assembly in the support of the successful implementation of the ECOWAS resolutions” as outlined in the said communication.
” Mandate the leadership of the Senate to further engage with President Tinubu on behalf of the entire Senate on how best to resolve the issue.
“Call on President Tinubu as Chairman of ECOWAS to further encourage other ECOWAS leaders to strengthen the political and diplomatic options and other means with a view to resolve the political impasse in Niger Republic.
Senator Akpabio also maintained that the senate is ready to support the president in other ways to resolve the matter, adding that the leadership of the legislators will work together with the executive to restore democratic sanity into the neighbouring country.
” Pledge total support to the ECOWAS leadership under President Tinubu in resolving the political situation in Niger and returning the country to democratic governance in the nearest future.
“Further mandate the leadership of the Senate to engage with President Tinubu on behalf of the Senate and the National Assembly on how best to resolve the issue in view of the hitherto existing cordial relationship between Nigeriens and Nigerians”
The recent military coup in Niger Republic has elicited scenarios of deliberations from international experts as ECOWAS has decided to take a drastic measure to counter the military hijack of power in the country.
President Tinubu met with other ECOWAS leaders on July 30th, 2023 to discuss ways to restore democracy in Niger.
Parts of the measures adopted by the regional body were cutting off the electricity supplies to Niger and closing borders that link them to other ECOWAS nations.
They also threatened to resort to military intervention if the coup plotters refused to relinquish power.
However, fellow coup plotters in the region, Burkina Faso and Mali have warned the ECOWAS not to interfere with the Niger’s new government, pledging their supports for the junta in Niger. There is no doubt that this is raising tension in the West Africa and more closely Nigeria, giving its proximity with Niger Republic.
While the deadline was ticking, ECOWAS had sent a delegate led by the former military head of state, Abdusalam Abubakar to Niamey, Niger capital to have an amicable solution to the matter, but it seemed the diplomatic action failed its purpose on the junta.
With the current situation, the ECOWAS has been backed into a corner of other measures to resolve the issues in Niger Republic, and this has further raised questions on what to expect in the coming days.
Speaking with NDR, Professor Sylvester Odion-Akhaine of the Political Science Department. Lagos State University, opined that the duty of intervention should have come from the regional perspective, instead of Nigeria’s decision to front-lead the movements.
He further explained that Nigeria does not have business with the internal issues going on in Niger, adding the country can only intervene when there is a humanitarian crisis. The professor urged the ECOWAS to continue to consider all diplomatic option to resolve the matter.
“The principle of non intervention according to the United is sacrosanct. Niger matter is an internal matter and Nigeria cannot interfere into such matters unless it is coming from ECOWAS perspective. Imagine if there was no principle of non intervention, the USA could have decided to colonise Nigeria again or any other countries.
Also, I do not think military intervention is needed in Niger now, except there is humanitarian crises, the only option is to keep on using diplomacy, diplomacy and diplomacy, he persistedly stated.