On Sunday, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, who used to be the governor of Enugu State, said that the coup d’etat in the Niger Republic could lead to the Third World War if it is not treated properly.
In an exclusive interview with Vanguard, Dr. Nwodo, who was also a past national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said that Russia and China have joined the race to control uranium in the Niger Republic.
He also said that the United States, which is in charge of the natural resource right now, would not want to give it to another country.
He asked Bola Tinubu to persuade the ECOWAS countries to give up on war and try to restore democracy through dialogue instead. He also said that Nigeria would not gain anything by leading other countries to war in the Niger Republic.
He also told the President that instead of going to war with the Niger Republic, he should use his energy to fix the huge security, health, education, and other problems left by the previous government in Nigeria.
“The previous government of President Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria left the President with a lot of big problems to solve. Instead of trying to start a war in the Niger Republic, he should spend a lot of time on these issues.
“There are problems with the economy, with security, with unemployment, with schooling, and with health. He shouldn’t be trying to start a war in the Niger Republic.
“Former Head of State Abdulsalam Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, and other well-known Nigerians have told Bola Tinubu to keep trying to get ECOWAS countries to use diplomacy instead of going to war to bring freedom back to the Niger Republic.
“It wouldn’t be fair to go to war with the Niger Republic because it helped Nigeria fight Boko Haram. We have both worked together to solve the problem in the Lake Chad Basin. The country is close by and has worked with Nigeria for a long time. We share a land border of more than 1,000 kilometers with a country. People have married and shared their cultures with the country. All of these will be lost in a war because making a friend into an enemy would destroy families.
Second, the Niger Republic is a friend. Nigeria wouldn’t gain anything by winning a war against the country. It’s more like fighting with your brother. Whether you win or lose, you’ll still be happy to have won.
“Thirdly, the third world war could start in West Africa because Russia and China are coming up behind the coup plotters, while the West and the United States of America may not want to give up the uranium from the Niger Republic for Russia to take over. Whoever owns the uranium in the Niger Republic could start a war over money. We might soon forget that a coup d’etat or a vote for democracy started the war. Whether these superpowers win or lose the war, we might not know what the future of West Africa would have been like. We shouldn’t move quickly on this.
“France colonized the Niger Republic and has been eating up their natural resources and lending them their own money, which they demand must be in their Central Bank. If Niger wants their money, they have to fill out an application, and they can get 20% of what is put there. It is a loan that is given to them. All of these make me think of imperialism,” he said.
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