By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI) has advised against military intervention in the Republic of Niger.
This comes following the expiration of the ECOWAS deadline on Sunday.
AANI’s National Publicity Secretary, retired Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, issued a statement vehemently condemning the military takeover of power in Niger.
Usman stated that AANI also supports ECOWAS’ attempts to restore democracy in the West African country.
On the other hand, he asked ECOWAS to examine the immediate and long-term consequences of its actions on the people of Niger and the larger West African sub-region.
He stated that resolving the core causes of Niger’s political problem and rebuilding the country’s democratic institutions were critical to attaining long-term peace and stability in the region.
“AANI, therefore, urges caution against immediate military action.
“Instead, non-military options like diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions should be adopted towards a peaceful resolution and a quicker return to democratic governance in Niger Republic, ” he said.
According to him, Military action by ECOWAS may escalate the current situation into a humanitarian crisis and worsen the security challenges in the West African sub-region.
Usman said that military option might also escalate tensions in the Lake Chad region and other parts of West Africa, attracting other armed groups and external actors to take advantage.
“This would exacerbate the security challenges and create a more complex and dangerous situation.
“It is, therefore, essential to prioritise peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the political crisis,” he said.
AANI spokesman urged ECOWAS to upscale diplomatic efforts to persuade the military leaders in Niger to relinquish power and allow the democratically elected government to reclaim the people’s mandate.
According to him, by avoiding military intervention, ECOWAS would have demonstrated its commitment to peaceful conflict resolution and regional stability.