Tinubu should not add ‘salt to our injury’; war against Niger will spell doom for Nigeria: Student activist

Hammed Oyelade, a student activist in Ondo, has asked President Bola Tinubu to tread softly in solving the military coup in the neighbouring Niger Republic.

“We must be careful of the consequences that follows. First is the question, of what benefit will the invasion of Niger be to our country.

“It is incontrovertible that here in Nigeria, we are passing through a very turbulent phase, ranging from food scarcity, unemployment, financial crisis, hike in food prices, exorbitant fuel prices, no light, cash crash, insecurity (Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping), internet fraud and many more.

“We are still struggling with the fuel subsidy withdrawal, deregulation of the naira, and tertiary education. Mr President (Tinubu) should not add salt to our injury. Any war adventure to the Niger Republic with full military power will only spell doom,” Mr Oyelade told reporters at a briefing in Akure on Monday. 

He said that any attempt by Mr Tinubu and the West African leaders to use military force to intervene in the crisis in Niger might likely spell doom – most specifically for Nigeria, a country that is still grappling with an economic crunch following the fuel subsidy removal.

According to him, the coup d’etat in Niger should be seen as an internal affair of the country that should be better resolved and not as a Nigerian challenge.

“Inasmuch as President Bola Tinubu may be trying to play the ‘Big Brother’ role with the intention to reinstate Nigeria’s ‘giant’ status in Africa. An ultimatum given to Tchiani that Bazoum must be reinstated or else, a strong military force will invade the Niger Republic to forcefully reinstate him may not be strategic enough,” the student explained.

Niger has been engulfed in political chaos since late last month when President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted in a coup d’etat led by Abdourahmane Tchiani.

Mr Tchiani is the former head of the president’s security guard.

Following the military takeover, pressure has continued to mount on the coupists to revert to the democratically elected government in Niger.

Mr Oyelade also declared his interest in contesting to be president of the National Association of Ondo State Students (NAOSS), the apex student union body in the state.

Speaking on his plans to turn around NAOSS for development if elected, Mr Oyelade said he would rebrand the association with an emergency response unit to attend to exigent issues where helpline or call lines will be made available to all student members across the globe.

He also noted that he was prepared to ensure students in the state learn digital skills that would allow them to compete Internationally.

“I shall synergise with experts in relevant fields of specialisation to support Naossites in attaining desired skills that would engender capacity building. Digital skills training (virtual and physical) We shall strive to update our members with requisite digital skills that will enable NAOSSites to compete favourably with their contemporaries all over the world,” the student activist explained.

He explained that “away from the previous trend, we shall create an atmosphere, even if it is ‘one day’ to be set aside so that NAOSSites (through all-round representatives) will have exhaustive interactive sessions with Mr Governor, so as to bare our minds on issues affecting our communal coexistence.”

He added, “NAOSS Sports Festival with special focus on football competition tagged “Governor’s Cup” shall be introduced on an annual basis.

“The instrumentality of sports is an innovative means through which students with such talents can be projected. The rewards for schools and individuals with outstanding performance shall be worth the while.”

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