Niger coup: Atiku cautions ECOWAS on military engagement

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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has warned the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against the engagement of the military to restore democratic order in Niger Republic.

Atiku, in a statement signed by himself in Abuja on Thursday, insisted that the crisis in Niger required sustained diplomatic engagements.

According to him, the military intervention in Niger had created tension across the West Africa sub-region, a development that has caused international attention to the neighbouring country, Nigeria.

Atiku said, “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.

“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 situation.

“The crisis in the Republic of Niger requires diplomatic engagement, and that must mean that the channels for dialogue should be well sustained.”

The political tension in Niger started July 28, after the head of the country’s presidential guard, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, overthrew President Mohammed Bazoum and declared himself head of state.

ECOWAS, under the new leadership of President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, has promised to go hard on the coup plotters and has slammed heavy sanctions on the Republic of Niger.

But the likes of Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea have now taken sides with the Niger military junta, warning against any military action.

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