The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has not declared war on the people of Niger Republic nor is there any plan to invade the country.
The president of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Touray, said this Friday in Abuja while interacting with journalists.
He, however, described as “unacceptable,” the 36-month transition plan announced by the Brig.-Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani-led junta to restore constitutional order in the country.
ECOWAS leaders had at an emergency summit on July 30, given the junta, which toppled elected President Mohamed Bazoum on July26, seven days to reinstate him or face military action.
After the ultimatum had passed and given the junta’s reluctance to engage in negotiations, including its refusal to receive a joint ECOWAS-AU-UN Mission, ECOWAS leaders ordered the activation of the regional Standby Force for possible deployment to the beleaguered country.
In line with the preference for the diplomatic option over military intervention, the ECOWAS chairman and Nigeria’s president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Thursday in Abuja received a group of Muslim Ulama (scholars), and urged them to continue their back-channel initiatives toward a peaceful resolution of the impasse.
No to war
Meanwhile, the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) has opposed Nigeria’s involvement in the planned military intervention in Niger Republic’s political impasse, saying solving Nigeria’s internal security challenges should be her priority.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, on Friday, the party’s national legal adviser, Prof. Mahmood Aliyu, said the country was facing a myriad of challenges which needed urgent attention rather than wasting resources on a foreign mission.
He said, “We’ve not been able to take care of our own security issues adequately. What wisdom do we have to wage a war against our neighbour? Honestly, from my mind, I’m completely against it. It’s morally, economically, and spiritually wrong.
“If this question was asked on the first day, what I would say is that that is not supposed to be our priority as a country. But if it’s ECOWAS, it’s ok. The matter has even taken political and ethnic dimensions.
“Last week, bandits raided one village in Niger state and kidnapped some of the villagers. Four of my kinsmen were among the victims. And that threat is all over that place every now and then. Villages have been sacked. The villagers were sent away. In some villages, the villagers are asked to pay money to the bandits before bandits could allow them to work on their farms.”
He urged Nigerians to embrace the party and mobilise the electorates ahead of the 2027 general elections, saying it’s the only party with designed programmes towards uplifting the masses.