The former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General TY Buratai Rtd who is arguably the leading security expert in Africa has revealed that the implications of the ugly trend in Niger Republic are not only crucial to ECOWAS but most importantly to Nigeria.


Buratai, who delivered a timely security report days before the coup d’etat on why African Leaders should labelled coup as organized crime, opined that if Nigeria does not act decisively about the military intervention in Niger, the consequences will be more damaging to it.


“The implications of the events in Niger Republic are very crucial to ECOWAS, especially Nigeria. If Nigeria does not act decisively, the consequences will be more damaging to it. Of all the West African countries,  Niger Republic is the most strategic to Nigeria. Niger Republic as Nigeria’s northern neighbour is very important.  It is the only country bordering 7 states. Her economy, despite the French influence, is intricately tied to Nigeria.”


According to him, Nigeria’s credentials for democracy could be called to question if the coup is not checkmated, and democracy restored.


“The coup in Niger if not checkmated and democracy restored, Nigeria’s credentials on democracy could be called to question. Equally, it could have implications for democracy at home. The fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria is not only biting in Nigeria but also in all our neighbouring countries.”


Thus, Buratai agrees with President Bola Tinubu as ECOWAS chairman to use both diplomatic and military options in resolving the ugly situation in the Niger Republic.


“Both diplomatic and military options should be pursued at the same time. Nigeria must take the lead in stabilizing the region. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu started very well. We should support his initiatives.  Military regimes had done more damage to Africa’s development than civilian administrations. Most military coups were always instigated from outside the country or had strong external influence. African democratic leaders must be responsive to the needs of their citizens”


It would be recalled that President Tinubu has sought the support of the Senate on the decision of ECOWAS including military intervention to restore democracy in the neighbouring country.


President Mohamed Bazoum was detained and overthrown on July 26 by his own guard, in the region’s third putsch in as many years following takeovers in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso.


The regional body had given the Niger military a week from Sunday to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum or face harder sanctions.


Tinubu’s letter read, “Following the unfortunate political situation in the Niger Republic culminating in the overthrow of its President, ECOWAS under my leadership condemned the coup in its entirety and resolved to seek the return of the democratically elected govt.


“In a bid to restore peace, ECOWAS convened a meeting and came out with a communique.


“Closure and monitoring of all land borders with the Niger Republic and reactivating of the border drilling exercise. Cutting off Electricity supply to the Niger Republic


“Mobilizing international support for the implementation of the provisions of the ECOWAS communique, preventing the operation of commercial and special flights into and from Niger Republic, blockade of goods in transit to Niger especially from Lagos and eastern seaports.


“Embarking on sensitization of Nigerians and Nigerians on the imperative of these actions, particularly via social media. Military build-up and deployment of personnel for military intervention to enforce compliance of the military junta in Niger should they remain recalcitrant

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