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Niger Putsch: ECOWAS leaders to meet Thursday after expiration of deadline
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), would Thursday, hold an extraordinary summit on the political situation in the Republic of Niger.
The summit billed to hold in Abuja is sequel to an earlier summit held on July 30, in which the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government gave a seven-day ultimatum to the military junta to release President Bazoum and reinstate his government.
Bazoum was overthrown on July 26 by members of the Presidential Guard and the armed forces led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani.
Following the putsch, the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, under the leadership of President Tinubu, convened an extraordinary summit. At the end, it amongst others, ECOWAS, a regional political and economic union of 15 countries located had threatened to restore order in Niger by force if the military junta did not vacate office within seven days.
•Focus on Nigeria’s problems – MBF
Meanwhile, the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has cautioned President Tinubu against interference in Niger in the quest to restore democracy.
National Publicity Secretary of the Forum, Dr. Isuwa Dogo, in a statement charged Tinubu to focus his energy in addressing “the monsters of insecurity shredding Nigeria, including addressing the harsh economic sufferings unleashed on the masses of the country following the withdrawal of fuel subsidies rather than chagring to war with Niger Republic.
Dogo stated that caution and statesmanship should be employed in dealing with insurrection in Niger because of the cultural, social, and religious affinity between the country and Nigerian states that share borders with it.
“Understanding the dynamics and intricate relationship between Niger Republic and Nigerian states that share borders; should serve as lessons in avoiding any form of warfare. With the coup in Niger Republic attracting sympathy from Nigeriens masses over the sacking of the democratically elected leadership, caution should be exercised.
“As it stands, Nigeria should never allow itself to plunge into an avoidable war.”
He urged African leaders to enthrone good governance in their respective countries as such is the best way to discourage coups.
“Leadership is founded on moral high ground. The best medicine against coups is enthronement of justice and equity for all. For ambitious military officers to be discouraged from staging coups, democracy must be cleansed of rogue leaders thrown up by flawed electoral processes.
“The lesson of the coup should not be lost on leaders who deployed underhand dealings to assume the mantle of leadership through compromising the electoral process,” he said.
•Ochulor: It’ll be useless venture
Former military sole administrator of Delta State, Air commodore Luke Ochulor (retd) also cautioned against waging a war against the coup plotters in Niger.
The war tactician believe the country would be making its greatest mistake if its military is allowed to embark on the mission to Niger.
Moreover, he said Nigeria has numerous problems to deal with and going to war in such a situation would be a useless venture and counterproductive.
“And anybody who takes such a journey now will regret it. There’s no need for it. We have more problems in our hands than going to fight in Niger. There’s no need for such a fight. It would be unwise.
“No country with the type of problem we have will engage in inter-territorial activities, we have more problems we can handle here. Insecurity and hunger are worrying Nigerian. A country with the type of problem we have will not think of quarrelling with anybody let alone going to war. Tinubu should remember that war does not pay anybody.”
•Mali, Burkina Faso send delegation
As the Tinubu-led ECOWAS leaders mull the next line of action following the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum, Mali and Burkina Faso has sent a joint delegation to Niamey in a show of solidarity.
“Burkina Faso and Mali are sending a delegation to Niamey to show the solidarity of the two countries with the brotherly people of Niger,” the army tweeted.
The transitional governments of Burkina Faso and Mali, which were established after the military took power by force in 2020 and 2022 in the two countries, also declared their support for the Nigerien soldiers who overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum
The two countries also warned that any military intervention in Niger would be considered as a declaration of war against them and would lead to the withdrawal of Burkina Faso and Mali from ECOWAS.
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