President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has written the Nigerian Senate, seeking support for his plan to invade the Niger Republic over coup.
The president’s letter to the Senate was read on the floor of the Upper Chamber by the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, on Friday, August 4, 2023.
Recall, a coup d’état took place in Niger on July 26, 2023, resulting in the detention of President Mohamed Bazoum and the installation of General Abdourahamane Tchiani as the head of a new military junta.
Since the coup, the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) headed by President Tinubu, have been in discussions, especially on sanctions against the coup plotters.
However, the junta has remained adamant. Not even a delegation by Tinubu, yesterday, could de-escalate the situation.
The letter read: “Political situation in Niger. Following the unfortunate political situation in the 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.
“In a bid to restore peace, ECOWAS convened a meeting and came out with a communique:
“Closure and monitoring of all land borders with the Niger Republic and reactivating of the border drilling exercise.
“Cutting off electricity supply to the Niger Republic; mobilising 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 sensitisation of Nigerians and Nigeriens 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.”
While not everyone believes that the Tinubu-led ECOWAS is being pragmatic with regards to handling the situation, there are many who argue that the robust response against the Niger coup is a testament to regional body’s determination to stand against any form of democratic violation, heralding a new era of proactive intervention and accountability in West Africa.