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Niger Coup: ACF cautions against use of force, urges dialogue

Niger Coup: ACF cautions against use of force, urges dialogue

The Arewa Consultative Forum, on Thursday, condemned the coup in the Niger Republic.

The ACF, however, cautioned against using military options in restoring democracy in the country.

Rather, it urged the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union as well as the United Nations, to engage the junta in dialogue.

The ACF stated this in a statement through its Secretary-General, Murtala Aliyu, released to journalists in Kaduna.

According to the ACF’s scribe, the Forum supports the restoration of democracy in that country but vehemently kicked against the use of force which will not guarantee peace and stability in ECOWAS states.

“The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) joins the United Nations, African Union (AU) and ECOWAS to condemn in strong terms the 26th July 2023 military coup d’etat in the Republic of Niger led by Brigadier General Abdourahamane Tchiani calling for the restoration of democratic governance in that country.

“The ACF supports the position to restore democratic rule in Niger but calls on the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government under the able Chairmanship President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR to tow the path of dialogue and diplomacy and certainly not force, in resolving the current impasse in Niger in the interest of peaceful coexistence with our brotherly neighbour and stability of the ECOWAS region.

“In a Communiqué issued at the end of the 51st Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the Political Situation in Niger held in Abuja on 30th July 2023 under the current Chairman President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the ECOWAS Leaders gave a one-week ultimatum for the coupists to return power to the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, or face a range of sanctions including, among others, economic, land and overflight blockade already imposed or military intervention.”

The Arewa Consultative Forum, however, views with concern the unfolding events in Nigeria’s immediate neighbour, the Republic of Niger, and the potential impact on the region.

Nigeria and Niger share a long historical border of more than one thousand five hundred kilometers with families, and communities sharing common facilities including farmlands, markets, cultural bonds, and languages for many centuries predating the Trans Saharan Trade and colonial times.

The ACF explained that “The two countries have enjoyed harmonious brotherly and mutually beneficial inter-communal relationships from time immemorial.

“The measures being contemplated should have taken into consideration the historical antecedents and mutual interests of the two countries and weighed the consequences of the use of force.

“While the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, recognises the ECOWAS position to bring pressure to bear on the coupists but nevertheless the military option shouldn’t be a prerequisite for Nigeria’s and the Community’s continuing efforts to enthrone democracy in the region in the 21st century. Certainly, not an adventure to be led by Nigeria.

“Democracy has taken root in Nigeria and her leadership role has inspired many countries in ECOWAS to embrace democratic governance structure. We shouldn’t throw that away for some misadventure against our brothers and sisters on the other side prejudicial to our Non -interference in a country’s internal affairs posture and attendant legal implications.

“ECOWAS is a shining example of a functional Regional Economic Cooperation (REC) on the Continent which should be sustained. We believe the peaceful relations with our border communities and the stability of the entire region should be paramount.

“A military intervention might yield a temporary solution but the repercussions on Nigeria as a leader and the regional body would impact negatively on future relations and a herculean task to rebuild,” the statement partly read.


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