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August 4, 2023

Arewa warns Tinubu, ECOWAS against use of force over Niger coup

Arewa warns Tinubu, ECOWAS against use of force over Niger coup

President Bola Tinubu

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has warned the Nigerian government and the Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS) against the use of military force over the Niger Republic coup.

The forum issued this warning in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Murtala Aliyu on Friday.

The ACF noted that the peaceful relations with border communities and stability of the entire region should be paramount in dealing with the Niger situation.

While condemning the July 26th coup in Niger led by Brigadier General Abdoulrahame Tchiani, Aliyu asked the African Union and ECOWAS to dialogue with the coupists as one of the civil measures to restore democratic governance in that country.

The forum noted that the use of military force against the coup plotters in Niger will not guarantee peace and stability in the ECOWAS sub-region, adding that the military option shouldn’t be a prerequisite for the international community “s continuing efforts to enthrone democracy in the region in the 21st century.

Aliyu said, “ACF however views with concern the unfolding events in Nigeria’s immediate neighbour, Republic of Niger and the potential impact on the region.

“Nigeria and Niger Republic share long historical border of more than one thousand five hundred kilometres with families, communities sharing common facilities including farmlands, markets , cultural bonds and languages for many centuries predating the trans-Saharan trade and colonial times.

“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, but 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.

“Certainly, not an adventure to be led by Nigeria. Democracy has taken root in Nigeria and her leadership role has inspired many countries in ECOWAS to embrace a democratic governance structure.

“We shouldn’t throw that away for some misadventure against our brothers and sisters on the other side prejudicial to our Non -non-interference in a country’s internal affairs posture and attendant legal implications.

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

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

“A military intervention might yield a 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.

“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 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.”