An All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftain in Lagos, Ambassador Abayomi Mumuni, has urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to shelve any military intervention in Niger.
The security expert urged ECOWAS to intensify efforts to secure the release of ousted Nigerien president Mohamed Bazoum rather than military intervention.
DAILY POST recalls that Bazoum has been held hostage following the military takeover of the Niger Republic since July 26.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Chairman of ECOWAS, had described the coup as unacceptable, giving the junta a deadline to restore democratic rule.
Mumuni, in a statement made available to DAILY POST on Sunday through his Media Aide, Rasheed Abubakar, advised Tinubu that war is not the answer.
He added that Tinubu should not be surprised if other Francophone nations in the association later pitch their tents with Niger if war were to break out.
Mumuni said, “The first thing that should have been on the priority list of ECOWAS when the coup was announced is securing the release of President Mohamed Bazoum. And this should be done through robust diplomatic engagements and persuasive communications.
“War or military intervention is not the answer. I think ECOWAS can do better to manage the crisis rather than setting for a war whose consequences would be untold and brutal. Therefore, the ECOWAS chieftains should intensify diplomatic engagements and persuasive communications with the junta. They should not be deterred by the fact that the last diplomatic engagement failed.
“In all of these crises, the life of the ousted president is most precious. He should come out alive first. Any declaration of war may see him killed, which would defeat the essence of the whole thing. Bazoum’s release should top the priorities of ECOWAS. They should do more and continue to press for his release by the junta.
“President Tinubu should resist temptations to deploy ECOWAS troops to Niger. He should not be surprised if other Francophone nations in the association later pitch their tents with Niger if War were to break out. We have quite different orientations. They were colonised by France and Nigeria was a British colony. Though our military establishment is fierce and strong in the African community, it has been overstretched by internal terrorism. We shouldn’t add more burden with the Niger crisis that effective diplomatic engagements and strategies can solve.
“Right now, the Western gladiators are seeing this as another opportunity to see Africa go into war against itself. We must never allow that happen”.