The Economic Commission of West African State (ECOWAS), headed by President Bola Tinubu, has been warned by the Emir of Gwandu, retired Maj.
-Gen. Muhammadu Ilyasu-Bashar, against using military force to restore democracy in the Niger Republic.
The call was made by Ilyasu-Bashar, who is also the Chairman of the Kebbi Council of Chiefs, on Sunday during the weekly prayer meeting in Birnin Kebbi.
"If Niger Republic is attacked, the consequences of the attack will not only affect that country alone but also Northern Nigeria," he said, noting the two countries' historical ties and relationships.
The emir then prayed for a peaceful end to the political impasse and for the sister nations' relations to remain peaceful.
He also advised people to always remain steadfast in observing their religious obligations to attract Allah’s blessing and reward both here on earth and in the hereafter.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the military chiefs of the ECOWAS will meet on Thursday and Friday in Accra, Ghana, amid tensions over a possible military intervention in Niger, according to Ghana’s army spokesman.
ECOWAS member states had initially mulled a military intervention against those who carried out Niger’s coup, and the bloc’s heads of state had ordered a military force to be readied to restore constitutional order during a special summit, but they said a peaceful resolution of the conflict should continue to be pursued.
ECOWAS defense ministers and military chiefs already met a week after the coup in Niger and drafted deployment plans after they issued an ultimatum against the putschists.
Of the 15 ECOWAS members, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin, and Guinea-Bissau declared their willingness to provide troops in the event of an intervention.
Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, which were suspended from ECOWAS after their own coups, as is Niger now, want to support the junta in Niger militarily in the event of an intervention.
NAN reports that the ECOWAS and the West African Monetary and Economic Union have imposed some of the most stringent sanctions on Niger so far since the coup.
The bloc also suspended all commercial transactions with Niger, frozen its state assets in the regional central bank, frozen the assets of the state and state enterprises in commercial banks, and suspended all financial assistance with regional development banks.