Group urges Tinubu to align national interest to restoring democracy in Niger
A group under the auspices of Concerned Citizens has called on President Bola Tinubu to align his approach to the restoration of democracy in the Niger Republic to Nigerians’ national interests.
The group made the call in an open letter to President Tinubu, signed by A B Mahmoud SAN, Prof Jibrin Ibrahim, Gen (rtd) M L Agwai, Prof Attahiru Jega, Prof M J Kuna, Dr Kole Shettima, Dr Hussaini Abdu, Malam Kabiru Yusuf, Mrs Maryam Uwais, Kabiru Adamu, Moufta’u Baba Ahmed, Dr Usman Bugaje, and Dr Yahya Hashim.
In the letter dated August 9, 2023, the citizens applauded the immediate steps that President Tinubu, as the Chairman of ECOWAS, has taken in the form of statements, communiqués, missions and consultations with regional, continental, and world leaders for the immediate restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.
They, however, noted that “Niger is a very dear, brotherly and supportive neighbour to Nigeria and its people and measures taken should not be allowed to harm the Nigerien people;
“The cutting off of electricity supply to Niger, breaking a longstanding treaty obligation, may ultimately harm our national interest, especially within the perspective of the Kandadji dam currently under construction by the Nigerien Government;
“The apparent rising wave of popular support for the putschists might create a situation in which the role of Nigeria is seen as being at variance with the interest of the Nigerien people and in support of external interests.”
The group noted that there is already an orchestrated campaign in the social and traditional media portraying Nigeria in a negative light as an agent of France and the United States.
According to the group, The strong presence of French, American and to a lesser extent Italian security personnel and assets, including a large US drone base, creates a situation that could easily transform an intervention for the restoration of democracy into a complex proxy war fought out by foreign interests engaged in the new geopolitical repositioning of world powers.
“In this regard, the current security challenges of insecurity around the Boko Haram insurgency, farmer-herder conflicts, banditry and mass kidnapping might all be exacerbated as the flow of arms, violent extremism and armed banditry spread and deepen in our sub-region.
“Nigeria has a serious humanitarian crisis, with millions of internally displaced persons and hundreds of thousands of refugees including in Niger. It is important to prevent the worsening of the humanitarian crisis.
“It is therefore important that as a Nation, we align our approach to the restoration of democracy in Niger to our national interests,” the group added.