Posted by Timige, On 16 Aug, 2023 | Updated On 16 Aug, 2023 No Comments »
By Nelson Ekujumi
Following the July 26, 2023 General Tchiani led military coup in Niger republic which ousted incumbent democratically elected President Mohammed Bazoum and continued to hold the country by the jugular in defying calls, demands and sanctions for restoration of democratic governance, it is appropriate to situate the issues in proper perspective in order not to allow mischief makers and anti democratic elements who have unleashed their arsenal of lies, falsehood and misinformation to continue to confuse and incite the people as in their character.
The anti democratic elements have been on the prowl since the military putchists seized power illegally by twisting the narratives against the Nigerian government solely for political capital in response to the 30th July 2023 ECOWAS ultimatum to the coupists to return power to the democratically elected President Mohammed Bazoum who is being held hostage or be prepared for a military action as a last resort if dialogue fails.
The July 30 2023 communique of ECOWAS on the illegal coup in Niger republic was very clear and comprehensible and it received global commendation as the most appropriate response to a defiant bunch of terrorists who usurped a democratic system of government in Niger republic.
But rather here in Nigeria, a section of the Nigerian society who have refused to come to terms with the electoral loss of their candidates and parties at the last successfully and credibly conducted 2023 general election, saw this bold and courageous move to restore democracy in a troubled West African country by a sub-regional bloc ECOWAS, being presently led by President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, as an opportunity to get back at the Nigerian government and so at every opportunity, they have taken to the media to whip up emotions and sentiments against the Nigerian government by capitalizing on the ignorance of a large population of our people with the lie that Nigeria is trying to wage a war against Niger republic which is untrue.
But the truth of the matter is that even when ECOWAS reconvened another extraordinary meeting on Niger republic in Abuja Nigeria on August 10, 2023, no where in the communique issued and read at the meeting was it ever mentioned that ECOWAS not to talk of Nigeria, was going to wage a war against Niger republic.
The communique of ECOWAS from the earlier meeting of 30th July and the latter extraordinary meeting of 10th August 2023 stated emphatically that the body was going to pursue all necessary peaceful means including the use of military option as a last resort to restore constitutional democracy in Niger republic through the immediate reinstatement of the democratically elected President Mohammed Bazoum.
Some of the anti democratic elements and mischief makers have been deploying their arsenal at full throttle to peddle the lies, falsehood and misinformation of, “We don’t war”, “Nigeria should no go to war against Niger republic”, when in actual fact, what they are saying is that ECOWAS should not intervene in restoring constitutional governance to Niger republic, but should allow the treasonable felons to remain in power, in utter violation of the constitution of Niger republic and ECOWAS protocol.
When these characters lie about the attempt to remove an illegal junta from power in a country by a regional bloc to which that country belongs to and is a signatory to the treaty on democratic governance as a declaration of war on the country, we need to inform those who might want to fall for the campaign of blackmail and calumny against ECOWAS because of the hate against Nigeria government from expected quarters, that in 2017, ECOWAS removed from power, a former President Yahya Jammeh in Gambia, when he lost a presidential election and refused to hand over to the winner to be sworn in, ECOWAS did not go to war against Gambia and no war ensued, but went there to restore and sustain democratic governance.
The same scenario of The Gambia reared it’s ugly head earlier in Cote D’Ivoire in 2010 when then President Laurent Gbagbo lost election to the incumbent President Alhassane Quattara, but refused to concede defeat and it degenerated into a social crisis costing hundreds of lives, but in 2011, Laurent Gbagbo was arrested and taken out to restore democracy in Cote D’Ivoire and the consequences is that no war broke out as would have been insinuated by anti democratic elements if such action had been contemplated as they are doing fraudulently and mischievously now.
The anti democratic elements have also gone further in trying to launder the image of the coupists by claiming that they enjoy the support of the people of Niger republic on the basis of some state sponsored rallies that have been organized to drum up support for the illegal junta repeatedly, but again we ask, can a rally or rallies be the basis for which an illegal junta should derive it’s legitimacy against a democratically elected government? The answer is absolutely no.
However, we must acknowledge the concern from some genuine quarters who have called for caution and appealed for dialogue in resolving the matter, and have even taken concrete steps to wade in, but till date, the junta in Niger republic is still obstinate and refusing to accede to the voice of reason.
Moreover, we are not surprised that the illegal junta in Niger republic is being supported by their sisters illegal juntas in Mali and Bourkina Faso, after all, it is said that, birds of a feather, flock together.
As the military junta in Niger republic continue in their path of illegality and perfidy as exemplified in their latest announcement of arraigning the incumbent President Mohammed Bazoum for treason, we call on ECOWAS and other defenders of democracy globally to remain steadfast and resolute in deploying military action as a last resort to drive out this terrorists who are presently illegally occupying the Presidential palace in Niamey as soon as possible so as to send an unmistakable and unambiguous message to coupists and their sponsors that the only acceptable, tolerable and legal route to political power in Africa, is through the ballot and not the barrel of the gun.
God bless ECOWAS, God bless Africa.
-Nelson Ekujumi, a political analyst writes from Lagos
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