Tinubu Writes Senate On Military Intervention In Niger Republic
President Bola Tinubu has written to the national assembly about military intervention in Niger Republic, in the wake of the coup in the landlocked West African nation.
Godswill Akpabio, senate president, read out the letter during plenary on Friday.
In the letter, Tinubu, who is also the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said the move to deploy military force was part of the bloc’s conclusions at the meeting held on Sunday in Abuja.
ECOWAS had given Niger a week from Sunday to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum or face harder sanctions.
“Following the unfortunate political situation in Niger Republic culminating in the overthrow of its president, ECOWAS under my leadership condemned the coup in its entirety and resolved to seek the return of the democratically elected government,” the letter reads.
“In a bid to restore peace, ECOWAS convened a meeting and came out with a communique.
“Closure and monitoring of all land borders with Niger Republic and reactivating of the border drilling exercise.
“Cutting off electricity supply to Niger Republic. Mobilizing international support for the implementation of the provisions of the ECOWAS communique. Preventing the operation of commercial and special flights into and from Niger Republic.
“Blockade of goods in transit to Niger especially from Lagos and eastern seaports. Embarking on sensitization of Nigeriens and Nigerians on the imperative of these actions particularly via social media.
“Military build up and deployment of personnel for military intervention to enforce compliance of the military junta in Niger should they remain recalcitrant.”
ECOWAS has struggled to contain a democratic backslide in West Africa, as member states Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea have also seen coups in the last two years, and have recently backed the military in Niger.
Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, had advised ECOWAS against “military hostilities” in Niger, and presented dialogue as the most viable option.
On Wednesday, an ECOWAS delegation led by Abdulsalami Abubakar, former military head of state, arrived in Niamey, capital of Niger, to negotiate with the country’s military junta.
Abubakar was accompanied by Muhammadu Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, and Alieu Touray, president of the ECOWAS commission.
But the delegation was said to have only met with representatives of the junta.
Hours after their arrival, the Nigerien military announced that it terminated the duties of its ambassadors in four countries — Nigeria, France, the United States and Togo.