• Saturday, April 13, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Senate against military intervention in Niger Republic

Akpabio’s 10th Senate breaks tradition, operates without legislative agenda

The Nigerian Senate says that Niger Republic’s political impasse should be addressed politically rather than with military action.

Godswill Akpabio, senate president, while reading the Senate resolve after 2 hours of closed-door meeting, said they considered Tinubu’s request and resolved to go for a political solution rather than military action, considering the relationship between Nigeria and Niger.

The Senate also rejected an option of military operations in the Niger Republic and called on the ECOWAS parliament and other leaders to condemn the coup.

“At our executive session, the Senate condemned in totality the coup that took place in Niger Republic. The Senate commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other head of states of ECOWAS on their prompt response,” Akpabio said.

“The Senate recognises the fact that President Tinubu, by the virtue of his correspondents, has not asked that we should approve a request to go to war, but he expressed a wish to solicit support in the successful implementation of the ECOWAS communique.

“The leadership of the Senate is mandated to further engage the president on how best to engage and resolve the issues.”

The Senate President called on the President of Nigeria who is also the Chairman of ECOWAS to further engage leaders to strengthen political options in resolving the political situation.

Read also: GSK’s exit from Nigeria painful, avoidable – Obi

“The Senate is mandated to further engage President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on how best to resolve the issue inview of the cordial relationship between Nigeria and Niger,” the senate president added.

“The Senate called on the ECOWAS parliament to rise to this and condemn the military coup in Niger and to resolve the impasse.”

Tinubu had written the Senate on Friday, seeking the implementation of the Resolutions of ECOWAS on the political situation in Niger Republic.

The communique issued by the ECOWAS leaders chaired by Bola Tinubu stated that military action would be carried out against any country that forcefully topples a democratically elected government.

Meanwhile, the Northern Senators Forum has condemned the Niger coup, but rejected military actions against the Juntas.

The Northern Senators who caution against the use of military power in Niger, added that if Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) should used diplomatic channel to address the situation rather than military might.

The lawmakers also frowned at economic and other sanctions imposed on Niger, adding that if the issue is not well managed, it will affect some of the states like Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno negatively.

“We, the Northern Senators of the Northern Senators Caucus of the 10th Senate under the leadership of Sen Abdul Ahmad Ningi, note with concern and condemn in its entirety the unfortunate development in Niger Republic, where the military forcefully upstaged a democratically elected government of President Mohammed Bazoum,” spokesman of the group, Sumaila Kawu said.

“The Northern Senators also take cognizance of the efforts of the ECOWAS leaders under the chairmanship of our Dear President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in resolving the situation in Niger Republic.

“The emphasis, however, should be focused on political and diplomatic means to restore democratic government in the Niger Republic.

“We also take exception to the use of military force until other avenues as mentioned above are exhausted as the consequences will be casualties among the innocent citizens who go about their daily business. Besides, about seven northern states shared the border with the Niger Republic namely Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa. Yobe and Borno will be negatively affected.”

Kawu pointed to the situation in some other west African countries as a basis to tread cautiously in the matter.

“We are also aware of the situation of Mali, Burkina Faso and Libya, which may affect the seven Northern states whose military force is used,” he said.

“There is a serious implication for our country, its military force is used without exhausting all diplomatic channels.

“As democrats and representatives of the people we are hereby urging our colleagues to observe due diligence in invoking section 5 subsection (4) (a) and (b) of the constitution.”