‘Dialogue, Best Option’: Peter Obi Opposes Military Action in Niger

Peter Obi

The Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, has joined other influential Nigerians to call for a diplomatic resolution of the political crisis in Niger Republic.

In a statement on his Twitter page on the morning of Sunday, August 13, 2023, the former Anambra State governor noted that the Niger situation has become a subject of international attention but remains a matter of urgent national interest and security for Nigeria.

However, Obi called on all the regional and global stakeholders to prioritise diplomatic dialogue towards resolving the Niger debacle with minimal disruptive impact on Nigeria and the West African sub-region.

“Recent developments in the neighbouring Niger Republic have become the subject of international attention. For Nigeria, this development is a matter of dire and urgent national interest and security.

Inevitably, Niger is a hot-button issue for ECOWAS, as well as various international interlocutors. Regardless of the positions taken by various parties that have direct or tangential interests in Niger, primacy must be given to dialogue and diplomacy towards a resolution with minimal disruptive impact on Nigeria and the West African sub-region,” he said.

This comes amid threats by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to send its standby force to Niger Republic to restore constitutional order following a recent coup.

Recall that the Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani-led military junta ousted the country’s democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, in a July 26, 2023, coup that has sent the West African sub-region into a tailspin.

ECOWAS has imposed several economic sanctions on Niger and gave the military leaders an ultimatum to return the country to the care of the detained President or face military action.

With the Niger junta refusing to budge, the sub-regional bloc has activated its standby force in a move that showed a serious intent towards a possible invasion of the West African country.

But, Obi, in his statement, maintained that a total diplomatic resolution that factors in the political configuration of the West African sub-region should be adopted in Niger.

He also commended the mediatory efforts made by eminent Nigerians, including Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, His Eminence Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and the 14th Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, in the Niger crisis.

Obi said, “Whereas ECOWAS authorities have indicated that they remain open to various conflict resolution options, diplomacy must remain the overarching imperative in resolving the present crisis.

“I join the many well-meaning Nigerians who have advocated that any intervention in the crisis, should be pre-eminently through diplomatic dialogue among all strategic interests in the crisis.

“It is therefore important that the people of Niger are allowed via their national institutions, the opportunity to revert quickly to a representative democratic government. All national, regional and international assistance should be extended to the people of Niger to return their country to normalcy.

“While ECOWAS must seek to discourage the spread of military dictatorships in West Africa, the recourse to armed deterrence must be retrained by multilateral diplomatic mechanisms.

“What the situation in Niger urgently calls for is a concerted multilateral coalition of Nigeria, ECOWAS, the AU and the UN towards a programmed return to a democratic constitutional order. In this process, Nigeria’s leadership role must not be in any doubt. -PO”


Spread the love
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like