The umbrella body of Northern Nigeria, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has warned President Bola Tinubu and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against military intervention in the Niger Republic.
SaharaReporters reported on Sunday that ECOWAS directed the closure of Land and air borders between member states against the Niger Republic over a military coup d’etat that removed democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum from office.
The Authority of Heads of State and Governments of ECOWAS, which Nigeria chairs also issued a seven-day ultimatum to the military in Niger Republic to restore the ousted President.
According to ECOWAS, if the demand is not met within one week, all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger, including the use of force, will be taken.
The West African regional body also ordered the freezing of all Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals funds in commercial banks in all ECOWAS member states.
Nigeria Defence Headquarters, the high military command in Nigeria, on Thursday, said that military action is the last option to be taken to reverse the situation and return the government of the Republic of Niger to constitutional order, adding that it had not yet received such orders.
In a release obtained by SaharaReporters, Nigeria’s high military command explained that the military chiefs in the West African sub-region had met and submitted their plans to the committee of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for consideration.
But reacting to the unfolding events following the coup in Niger, ACF warned that military intervention in the West African country would have consequences for Nigeria.
The organisation, which gave the warning in a statement issued on Friday through its General Secretary, Murtala Aliyu, called for dialogue to resolve the issue.
According to ACF, the use of military might in the Niger Republic will not guarantee peace and stability in the ECOWAS sub-region.
The statement partly read: “ACF, however, views with concern the unfolding events in Nigeria’s immediate neighbour, the Republic of Niger, and the potential impact on the region.
“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 military force.
“While the ACF recognises the ECOWAS position to bring pressure to bear on the perpetrators, nevertheless the military option shouldn’t be a prerequisite for Nigeria’s and the Community’s continuing efforts to enthrone democracy in the region in the 21st century.”
ACF noted that though military intervention might yield a temporary solution, the result will come with repercussions for Nigeria as a leader and the regional body.
“To this end, ACF notes that while it supports the position to restore democratic rule in Niger, it calls on the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government under the able Chairmanship of President Bola Tinubu, that it should toe 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,” it added.