Coup: ACF cautions Tinubu against invading Niger

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has cautioned President Bola Tinubu against ordering a military invasion of Niger Republic.

Tinubu, the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), had said the regional body would do everything in its power, including deploying force, to ensure that stability returns to Niger.

Abdourahamane Tiani, a general and former head of Niger’s presidential guard, overthrew democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum to declare himself as the new head of state.

Numerous calls from countries and bodies including the ECOWAS and the African Union (AU) to reinstate Bazoum have been ignored, even as a delegation of the community failed to achieve results on Thursday.

Speaking on the situation, ECOWAS had said it was necessary to show that it could not only bark but also bite.

However, in a statement on Friday, the ACF frowned at the consequences of a military action, considering the relationship between Nigeria and Niger.

Murtala Aliyu, secretary-general of the forum, said both countries have shared a long, historical border joining families, farmlands, markets, cultural bonds, and languages.

“The measures being contemplated should have taken into consideration the historical antecedents and mutual interests of the two countries and weighed the consequences of the use of force,” Aliyu said.

“While the Arewa Consultative Forum recognises the ECOWAS position to bring pressure to bear on the coupists, nevertheless the military option shouldn’t be a prerequisite for Nigeria and the ECOWAS’ continuing efforts to enthrone democracy in the region in the 21st century – certainly not an adventure to be led by Nigeria.”

Aliyu noted that Nigeria’s democratic system has inspired many countries in ECOWAS to tow the same path, adding that a military interference against “our brothers and sisters” negates the concept of democracy.

“ECOWAS is a shining example of a functional Regional Economic Cooperation (REC) on the continent which should be sustained,” he said.

“We believe the peaceful relations with our broader communities and stability of the entire region should be paramount.

“A military intervention might yield temporary solution but the repercussions on Nigeria as a leader and the regional body would impact negatively on future relations and a herculean task to rebuild.

“The ACF supports the position to restore democratic rule in Niger but calls on the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government under the able Chairmanship of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR to tow the path of dialogue and diplomacy and certainly not force, in resolving the current impasse in Niger in the interest of peaceful coexistence with our brotherly neighbour and stability of the ECOWAS region.”


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