The Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani-led junta in Niger Republic has turned down diplomatic efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, United Nations and the United States to end the political crisis in the country and return ousted President Mohammed Bazoum to power….CONTINUE READING....CONTINUE READING
Recall that Tchiani overthrew Bazoum on July 26 leading to sanctions imposed on Niger by ECOWAS to compel them to restore the ousted president to power.
The military leaders on Tuesday rejected the proposed visit by a joint delegation from ECOWAS, AU and the UN citing “climate of threatened aggression” as the reason for rejecting talks on ending the political impasse crisis in Niger.
ECOWAS, which ultimatum to the military leaders to reinstate Bazoum or face the use of force, expired on Sunday, had sought to send a delegation to Niamey on Tuesday ahead of a crisis summit on Thursday (tomorrow) in Abuja.
“The current context of public anger and revolt following the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS does not permit the welcoming of this delegation in the required conditions of serenity and security,” Niger’s foreign ministry said in a letter to the ECOWAS representation in Niamey.
Reacting to the development, the US deputy secretary of state for political affairs, Victoria Nuland, who met with the second eleven of Niger’s military leaders on Monday in Niamey, said America might be pushed to intervene militarily in that West African country if military rulers refused to return to constitutional order.
Nuland, who spoke yesterday in a special briefing on Niger said via a teleconference, said she met for more than two hours with Niger’s military leaders in the capital Niamey.
“These conversations were extremely frank and at times quite difficult. This was a first conversation in which the United States was offering its good offices if there is a desire on the part of the people who are responsible for this to return to the constitutional order. I would not say that we were in any way taken up on that offer.”
She said the junta did not respond to her requests to meet Tchiani or Bazoum, although U.S. officials have been in touch with Bazoum by telephone.
“There is still a lot of motion here on many sides with regard to where the governance situation will go.
“So we will be watching that closely and there are a number of regional meetings coming up and consultations with allies and partners that we need to make.
“So we’ll be watching the situation, but we understand our legal responsibilities and I explained those very clearly to the guys (Niger junta) who were responsible for this and that it is not our desire to go there, but they may push us to that point, and we asked them to be prudent in that regard and to hear our offer to try to work with them to solve this diplomatically and return to constitutional order.”
She disclosed that President Joe Biden had held consultations with his European allies “with whom we work in Niger, particularly on counterterrorism” as well as been in “regular touch” with the ECOWAS chairman, President Bola Tinubu and AU chairperson, Moussa Faki.
Meanwhile, as the crisis in Niger deepens, with military option being considered, Diaspora Nigerians under the auspices of Global Nigerian Diaspora Forum (GNDF) has advised Tinubu to tread cautiously for no Nigerian territory “is not under attack by external aggressors known to have come from the Niger Republic.”
The group said in a statement signed by Messrs Emmanuel Ezekiel-Hart, Ifem Orji, Mondy Gold, and Hon. Gesiere Brisibe-Dorgu that Nigeria’s desire to go to war over the crisis in Niger “is at the behest of foreign powers.”
It advised the president to “only mediate for peaceful dialogue and settlement towards political solution to avoid additional refugees across the West African borders.”
A [art of the statement reads: “As we operate an executive presidential system of government, the people of Nigeria hold sovereign power through their elected representatives who exercise that power on their behalf and the people have the right at any time to challenge the exercise of that power when it is done in bad faith that puts Nigeria at great risk.
“Section 1 of the Constitution clearly makes the Nigerian Constitution supreme and binding on the president and the National Assembly. Therefore, we shall challenge any backdoor deals that send our military to the Niger Republic and ensure that the judiciary exercises its power to declare void any back door agreements, using its power under section 6 of the Constitution.
“Why have foreign powers not yet put an end to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine? We urge the president to reconsider starting a war in a foreign country because history serves as a constant reminder that wars rarely go as planned.
“The main danger to Nigeria’s peace and security is the uprising of Boko Haram, bandits, and unknown gunmen. The current administration needs a long-term plan to swiftly and completely end these recurring crises.
“The question then is whether going to Niger for war is for “peace, order and good government of the Federation” as mandated by section 4(2) of the constitution? It is NOT. Neither is it a “LIMITED COMBAT DUTY.”
“To satisfy the requirements of section 5(4) (a) of the constitution and 5(4) (b) and 5(5), which requires Nigerian national security to be under imminent threat or danger, (which is not the case under the current circumstances) the National Defence Council must note that there is absolutely zero necessity for troops deployment to Niger Republic.
“The GNDF believes that the President’s desire to go to war is at the behest of foreign powers and that interest is tantamount to bowing to foreign sovereign allegiance that denigrates Nigerian national pride. We also believe that Nigeria should only mediate for peaceful dialogue and settlement towards political solution to avoid additional refugees across the West African borders.”
The group therefore charged Tinubu “to focus on addressing the needs of the public clearly and convincingly rather than waging wars abroad that history has demonstrated can never be won….CONTINUE READING