By Ali Baba-Inuwa
An Islamic cleric, Malam Sabiu Abdulsalam, has cautioned against the use of military action against the military junta in Niger Republic.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a military junta on July 26, led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, seized power from Niger’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum.
Abdulsalam said this while delivering his Juma’at sermon at the Namadina Central Mosque, Darmanawa, Kano on Friday.
He said that the military option in tackling the situation in Niger Republic would further worsen the situation.
“We are totally opposed to the use of military action in addressing the situation in Niger Republic.
“This is because it might not achieve the desired result; in fact it is likely going to worsen the situation.
“Nigeria and Niger Republic have long history of brotherhood, Nigeria is the only country where a Nigerien can travel and feel like he is in his own country, same for Nigerians,” Abdulsalam said.
He said that declaring a war on Niger by the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) was just like declaring war on Nigeria.
“Any military action would adversely affect Nigeria socially and economically.
“Nigerians, especially those living in border communities are going to suffer enormously if there is war in Niger Republic,” he said.
He said that declaring war on Niger Republic would also create more hardship in Nigeria.
“Nigerians are still trying to cope with the hardship created by the fuel subsidy removal. I don’t see any sense in declaring war on Niger.
“Niger is not the only country being ruled by military junta in West Africa, we have military ruling in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Chad and nobody has said anything about them.
“Why are we now so desperate about Niger Republic, I think the Western powers are trying to push ECOWAS into an endless war that will serve no good purpose,”Abdulsalam said.
He appealed to President Bola Tinubu to continue with the ongoing dialogue with the military junta toward resolving the crisis.
NAN reports that ECOWAS after a meeting in Abuja on Thursday, ordered the “activation” and the “deployment” of a regional standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger.(NAN)