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ECOWAS MPs call for caution, reject military move in Niger


ECOWAS MPs call for caution, reject military move in Niger

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament has urged restraint in dealing with the military coup in Niger Republic, stressing the importance of diplomatic solutions over military force.

During a virtual extraordinary plenary session, lawmakers emphasized the need for dialogue and called upon ECOWAS leaders to avoid immediate military intervention.

Hon Idris Wase, First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, spoke against the use of military power, raising concerns about the intentions of subregional military chiefs who might be motivated by economic gains from intervening militarily.

Nigerian lawmaker Senator Ali Ndume criticized President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the ECOWAS Chairman for their unilateral decision to close the Nigerian-Niger border and cut electricity without seeking approval from the Nigerian National Assembly.

Ndume underscored the importance of decisions aligning with the people’s wishes.

READ ALSO: Niger Junta reconsiders, will engage in dialogue with ECOWAS

He highlighted that President Tinubu’s proposed military intervention plan was met with strong opposition from the Nigerian Senate, which advocated for dialogue instead.

Hadja Satu Camara, an ECOWAS parliamentarian, emphasized the need to prioritize the interests of citizens over political considerations.

She pointed out that the prevailing economic conditions in West Africa do not make war a favourable solution to address the military junta in Niger.

Hon Linda Ikpeazu suggested evaluating the success of previous diplomatic efforts in countries like Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso as a basis for determining the best approach in Niger’s political situation.

Hon Salou DJibo, the Fourth Deputy Speaker from Niger Republic, voiced support for certain resolutions made by ECOWAS Heads of State.

He strongly advocated for dialogue as the preferred means of resolution, citing the negative impact of existing sanctions on ordinary Niger citizens.

He argued that war would only exacerbate economic challenges and hardships faced by the region’s people.

Hon Awaji-Inombek Dagomie Abiante stressed the importance of addressing the root causes of coups within ECOWAS countries through diplomatic means.

He recommended a focus on diplomacy to resolve the underlying issues.

Hon Adebayo Balogun clarified the distinction between military intervention and declaring war, explaining that ECOWAS aimed to remove coupists from power in line with the non-military intervention protocol.

Contributors collectively cautioned against hastily pursuing military action, highlighting the potential repercussions for women, children, and democracy across the region.

They urged the Speaker and the House to align with the decision of the Heads of Government while providing the necessary legal and financial support to reinstate the ousted President.

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