Niger Crisis and Its Effects on Nigeria If Military Intervene

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On the 30th of july 2023 at an emergency meeting in Abuja, the capital state of Nigeria, the economic community of west African state [ECOWAS] chaired by president Bola Ahmed Tinubu demanded the immediate release and reinstatement of Niger’s elected president, Mohammed Bazoum. He had been held by the military since 19th of July.

The regional bloc gave the military in Niger a week ultimatum to comply and warned that it would take all measures necessary including force to restore constitutional order.

On 28th of july, the head of Niger’s presidential guard, General AbdouraHamaneTchiani declared himself the head of the state after  the military seized power.

Despite the warning by the ECOWAS, the Niger military government did not obey the instructions, instead they insist that the coup d’etat will have a significant impact on peace and stability in Niger

Prior to this coup, Niger has recently enjoy its longest democratic rule since independence, although there’s been a constant threat of coup. The military government of Niger blamed the rising insecurity and low economic growth to the democratic government, they stated that the intervention was necessary to avoid the gradual and inevitable demise of the country.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is  the chairman of ECOWAS demand the use of force and military intervention on Niger republic which is a neighboring country to Nigeria, sharing boundary with seven[7] states of the countryNigeria which are Sookoto, Kebbi, Kastina, Zamfara, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno, therefore going to war will cause serious security issues in Nigeria. If there’s military intervention from Nigeria to Niger republic, the life of Nigerians who shared borders with niger republic will be at stake. It’s expedient to know that war is not cheap and it consequences cannot be underestimated.

According to centre for promotionof privateenterprise [CPPE], it is estimated that if Nigeria should resolve into military intervention, it could be damaging for Nigeria with yearly financial cost estimated at $2billion on military equipment acquisition.

Considering the current lean public revenue of the country and the current economic  crises,near 100 percent debt service to revenue ratio  and mounting indebtedness , CPPE balked at the country’s ability to absorb the cost and call for deeper introspection.

Nigeria which shouldered the cost of ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICA MONITORING GROUP [ecomog] at the peak of Liberian war reportedly lost $8billion to the crises and hundreds o f soldier. Also the country lost an estimated $4billion to sierra lone intervention.

Already the recent border closure of  the seven states that share boundaries with niger republic is beginning to adversely impact the traders on both side of the divide and Nigeria often be  the one at loss at every military intervention.

To avoid this huge effect on our economy,security, welfare ,peace ECOWAS should find a way to negotiate and dialogue with the government in  niger republic.

One of the key mandate of ecowas is the promotion of economic integration among member states. Millitary action among member states most especially Nigeria will negate this fundamental objective.

Nigeria should also know that we have our citizens in Niger republic as refugee and going to war is like we are killing our people with our own hands. According UCHR 187,130 citizens of Nigeria are refugees in Niger Republic  as at November 2022. Therefore  going to war will  cause Nigeria more harm

Negotiation and having a  dialogue will be the best approach to this matter than military intervention because military intervention will  have great effect on  Nigeria who is facing internal crises such  subsidy removal,  unhealthy health sector, unreformed educational system amongst others .

– Adedayo Ayomitan
Department of Mass Communication,
Prince Abubakar Audu  University Anyigba, Kogi State.

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