Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti
The President Bola Tinubu-led Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been advised to rescind the resolution to go to war against the coup plotters in Niger Republic.
Former Ekiti State Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Jide Awe, who gave the advice in Ado Ekiti in a chat with THISDAY, said adopting military intervention may be counter-productive.
Awe, who is the Special Adviser to the Ekiti State Governor on Political and Inter-party Affairs, said tension is building and that ECOWAS must take caution on the resolution to go to war with the country right now.
Rather, the APC chieftain advised that they should employ the instrumentality of diplomacy in resolving the issue in Niger Republic.
He pointed out that the threat of military action may ignite those behind them who are still covering their face, “because going deeper into the matter, it may be some western powers who are behind this.
“The Russia and even China may be interested. The country is rich with uranium which I believe is even the cause of these problems, because the commodity is needed in Europe, and it is in quantity in Niger Republic. In all, caution should be taken.
“I don’t doubt the strength of the Nigerian Army, but you don’t just attack another man’s soil. I know there is going to be some resistance, but you need to go all out for diplomacy which can resolve these issues. There is a build-up which you and I can’t see, and the tension is high.
“The coup plotters have their reasons for staging a coup in Niger, and when you look at the totality of the problems in West Africa, you will know that our problem is not just that of military intervention.
“Talk to the people in the streets of Niger Republic, do they even love the kind of government they have? They were even happy the civilian government in their country was toppled by the coupists; this was so because of inefficiency, corruption and lack of direction for the people on the part of the ousted government.
“So, when coup plotters take power, people will still believe that they come with miracle but that miracle will not happen at the end of the day. But our president must be careful, because at the end the day, it is Nigerians that will suffer if we go into Niger militarily. Take a look at the Russia/Ukraine war, the people thought within few weeks that Russia will overrun Ukraine but the war is running into years now, so what we are witnessing in Niger may not be the way we are looking at it.”
Speaking on the support the military juntas in Niger Reoublic are receiving from Burkina Faso, Mali and others, Awe said: “It is because power was also seized in those countries and they have seen their colleagues doing same in Niger.”
On the rejection of President Tinubu’s request for military action in Niger by the National Assembly, Awe said their resistance is reasonable because they know what is behind it. “Not that the president doesn’t know, but as a leader, he must take action and part of it is issuance of threat,” he stated.