Sultan Tinubu

Senate, Sultan Group Warn Tinubu Against War in Niger

The Senate and Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, have asked Bola Tinubu, and other regional leaders to be cautious when addressing the political quagmire in the Niger Republic after Mohamed Bazoum’s democratically elected administration was overthrown.

The Senate yesterday condemned the coup d’etat in Niger but urged ECOWAS and its leaders to use political and diplomatic options to break the political impasse. The Senate had just emerged from a two-hour closed-door meeting to discuss the letter sent by Tinubu regarding the decisions made by the regional body.

On Friday, Tinubu wrote the Senate to inform it of the coup that had taken place in the neighboring nation and to recommend that the ECOWAS take military action and impose other penalties on the juntas.

The Senate and the JNI made their positions clear as the seven-day window that West African leaders had given the military in Niger to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum came to an end. Analysts said both parties have important decisions to make.

The regional group, led by Tinubu, declared last Sunday night that the junta had one week to restore constitutional order or face the probable use of force.

Sanctions against the coup leaders have already been put in place, and Nigeria’s electricity supply and borders have been closed, preventing commodities from entering and cutting off the landlocked nation’s access to ports.

But what might occur after the deadline has passed as political, diplomatic, and military tensions increase?
Analysts have suggested that the ECOWAS leaders extend the deadline as an alternative.

The heads of state could preserve face by claiming that diplomatic efforts have advanced and they want to give them more time, according to one expert. “This has the risk of being seen as a climbdown,” he added.

“The issue at hand is that Ecowas’ efforts to mediate have not succeeded. A group that was dispatched to Niger on Thursday came back in a short time with what appeared to be little value.

In the meantime, the junta’s rhetoric against the West and ECOWAS got stronger. In addition to announcing the severance of diplomatic connections with the US, France, Togo, Nigeria, and other countries, it also declared the cancellation of military accords with France that had previously allowed the former colonial power to station 1,500 soldiers there.

The Senate recognizes that Tinubu, via his correspondence, did not request permission from this Senate’s parliament to go to war, as has been falsely suggested in some quarters, according to the resolutions read by the Senate yesterday after the meeting.

Instead, as stated in the aforementioned communication, “Mr. President has expressed a desire to respectfully request the support of the National Assembly in the successful execution of the ECOWAS decisions.

“The Senate urges Tinubu to continue urging other ECOWAS leaders to boost diplomatic and political options as well as other ways to break the political deadlock in Niger.

“In light of the up-to-now friendly relationship between Nigerians and Nigerians, the leadership of the Senate is tasked with continuing to engage with the president on how to best address the matter.

The Senate concludes by urging the ECOWAS assembly to rise to the occasion by denouncing this coup and offering suggestions for how to end this deadlock as soon as possible.

Similar to this, the top Muslim organization in Nigeria said in a statement released by its Secretary General, Professor Khalid Aliyu, that the JNI, speaking for the Muslim Ummah as a whole, voiced its serious concern over the coup in Niger.

The group emphasized the importance of sustaining democratic values and the rule of law in order to promote national stability, growth, and steady progress.

The JNI applauds the Nigerian government’s actions thus far, especially the start of a dialogue process aimed at ending the crisis in the Niger Republic. Although this approach might not have produced the expected outcomes, it shows Nigeria’s dedication to peaceful solutions.

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