Amid growing concerns over the increasing coups in Africa, President Bola Tinubu on Thursday, explained that “wielding the big stick” of sanctions will check further resort to undemocratic change of governments.
The president stated that his administration was not interested in war with any country, but assured that all diplomatic options would be exhausted with the military junta in Niger Republic, adding that “resort to military intervention will come as a last resort”
The president, who stated this when he received Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, led by Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, at the State House, noted that the alternative of kinetic intervention in Niger Republic had not been jettisoned, even as he insisted that “ forceful removal of a democratic government remains wholly unacceptable.”
“I must thank you for your several visits to Niger Republic, Your Eminence, but you will still have to go back. My fear has been confirmed in Gabon that copycats will start doing the same thing until it is stopped.
“We are neighbours with Niger Republic, and what has joined Nigerians together with their great people cannot be broken. Nobody is interested in a war. We have seen the devastation in Ukraine and Sudan.
“If we don’t wield the big stick, we will all suffer the consequences together,” he warned.
Tinubu noted that Nigeria, under Abdulsalami Abubakar, instituted a nine-month transition programme in 1998, and it proved very successful, leading the country into a new era of democratic governance, adding that “there is no reason why such cannot be replicated in Niger, if Niger’s military authorities are sincere.”
“Your Eminence, please don’t get tired, you will still go back there. The soldiers’ action is unacceptable. The earlier they make positive adjustments, the quicker we will dial back the sanctions to alleviate the sufferings we are seeing in Niger,” the president said.
On his part, the Sultan of Sokoto pledged “one hundred percent loyalty” to the president, affirming that a leader can only reach a position by the will of God, and not man.
He assured Tinubu that the NSCIA would be available to advise and support him to realise his dream for the country, adding that “God will hold all leaders to account, in justice and fairness.”