July 20, 2024

Niger Coup:Nigeria’s apex Muslim body, NSCIA kicks against sanctions, military intervention 

The Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has joined growing voices of organisations to oppose the sanctions on Niger and possible military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, after the coup in the country.

“…it is well known that such kinds of economic sanctions are counter-productive and eventually end in futility,” the NSCIA stated in a statement by its Deputy Secretary-General, Salisu Shehu.

The apex Muslim body, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar, also stressed that dialogue is the right path to employ to end the impasse instead of the proposed use of force to dislodge the military juntas who ousted President Mohamed Bazoum from office last month.

The statement said in part that “While it is understandable that the leadership of both ECOWAS and Nigeria must preserve and protect democracy by discouraging forceful take-over of power through military coup d’état, the NSCIA strongly implores the Federal Government of Nigeria and by extension the leadership of ECOWAS to continue to tread the path of dialogue rather than resorting to violence.

“This is because violence does more harm than the intended good in any circumstance. Should violence break out in Niger, it is the helpless and hapless masses, who have already been devastated and impoverished by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the world economy, that would pay the very costly price, not the coup plotters.

The Council added that “It is pertinent to state here that Nigeria has not gotten away with its own intractable issues and challenges of insecurity and violence that have been causing death incessantly, displacing millions and destroying livelihood in states that share borders with Niger.

“The Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast and the banditry in the Northwest have not been subdued. Given this situation it would not only take a dance on the precipice to embark on military expedition at this material time, but would also smack of ingratitude to a neighbor that had consistently remained faithful in helping and supporting us in our fight against those extreme groups and criminal gangs.” The statement said

ECOWAS has stated that it prefers a diplomatic and political solution to restore Niger’s elected President Mohamed Bazoum. It however stressed that military action would be the “last option” if the junta remained recalcitrant.

Leaders of the regional bloc will be meeting on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, where plans on the next line of action on Niger will be discussed.

 

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