A former Vice President of Nigeria and 2023 Presidential Candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, has on Thursday, called for caution in the use of Military Forces by the Leadership of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, in the coup crisis ongoing in the Republic of Niger.
Atiku instead, called for diplomatic engagements with great dialogue.
Atiku spoke in an official statement signed by him, which was made available to News Direct.
His statement reads in full:
The Military intervention in the Republic of Niger has created tension across the West Africa sub-region, and it is a development that has caused international attention to that neighbouring country of ours.
The putsch is even more worrisome, because the number of States that have witnessed Military intervention in the last three years in the sub-region is increasing.
Of course, the world expects Nigeria to take up leadership in ensuring that the crisis of political leadership in the Republic of Niger is not just curtailed, but also ensuring the restoration of democratic governance in that country.
While the expectations that fall on Nigeria as the sub-regional Leader is not a quick fix, it must be expressed that the role taken so far by the Economic Community of West African States has been commendable.
As the ECOWAS continues to work towards reinstating democracy in the Republic of Niger, it must be reinforced that the regional body should not travel the road of Military hostilities that may exacerbate the status quo.
The crisis in the Republic of Niger requires diplomatic engagements, and that must mean that the channels for dialogue should be well sustained.
While the world expects Nigeria to take a leading role in this process of peaceful conflict resolution, it must be clear to the Military insurrectionists in the Republic of Niger that the world cannot afford to wait for too long before this crisis is resolved reasonably.
This is undoubtedly a challenging time for the West African region. However, any actions taken towards the prompt resolution of the crisis in the Republic of Niger must prioritise democracy as the ultimate victor.