Nigeria: Senate wary of armed operation in Niger

Sunday August 6 was the last day of the ultimatum issued by ECOWAS to Niger’s putschists to relinquish power. The West African organization is threatening the mutineers with military intervention. As a major regional power, Nigeria could play a leading role in this operation. Indeed, the country holds the presidency of ECOWAS. At home, however, political pressure is mounting on the Head of State, Bola Tinubu. The Senate has asked him to consider other options.

Bola Tinubu had written to the Senators asking them to approve the ECOWAS resolutions. But the elected representatives did not give the Head of State a blank check. Quite the contrary, in fact. After several hours of meetings, the Chamber finally asked Bola Tinubu to consider diplomatic and political options to resolve the crisis in Niger.

In its response, the Senate not only rejected the military coup, but also demonstrated its reluctance to engage in armed confrontation.

Already on Friday August 4 evening, Senators from the North had expressed concern about the repercussions of a military operation. The two countries share a 1,500 km border, and the region’s elected representatives had emphasized the cultural, religious, and linguistic links between the two sides. They therefore warned against “resorting to force before having exhausted all diplomatic channels”. An operation would have “implications in Nigeria”, with the possible destabilization of very poor regions already under pressure from armed groups, they argued.

Finally, the political pressure on Bola Tinubu has been stepped up with the strong words of the CUPP. On Saturday August 5 morning, the largest opposition coalition denounced the military project as “not only unnecessary, but irresponsible”. “Nigeria cannot afford to waste its dwindling resources and the precious lives of our soldiers. A new front could plunge the fragile economy into an even deeper crisis”, the opponents had declared.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 4423 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network