The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has warned that any military action in the Republic of Niger will engulf the West African sub-region and consequently lead to mass killings.
Naijacrawl reports that President Bola Tinubu notified the National Assembly on Friday about the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) proposed military action against the Nigerien military junta, which recently seized power.
But in a swift response to the President’s request, the Northern Senators Forum, in a statement issued Friday, rejected the option of war and called for political and diplomatic means to restore democratic government in that country.
However, the CNG, in a statement issued Saturday by its Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said a sinister international power game is at play in Niger with Western powers on one hand, Russia and China on the other, and some other African countries playing behind the scenes.
It pointed out that with developments in other Sahel countries that are part of a global power chess game, any military intervention in Niger would be resisted and considered an invasion by Russia or China, Mali, and Burkina Faso, which could get very messy and protracted.
The group stressed that in Nigeria, the tide of public opinion was overwhelmingly against any form of Nigeria-led military aggression to restore civilian rule in Niger.
It noted that Nigeria will be expected to expend billions to execute the war when the country is still grappling with its harsh economic realities.
It added: “We join other Nigerians, particularly the Northern Senators Forum, in rejecting the option of war and calling instead for political and diplomatic means to restore democratic government in that country.”
The northern group called on the federal government not to rush into war without exhausting every economic and diplomatic means to pressure the junta in Niger to return power to the democratically elected government.
It further cautioned President Tinubu that, in consideration of the country’s national interest, a military intervention in Niger must be an absolutely last option for Nigeria, given Nigeria’s present domestic fragility.