The Northern Senators Forum has warned President Bola Tinubu and leaders of Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS not to contemplate using military force against the coup plotters in Niger Republic until all diplomatic avenues are exhausted.
ECOWAS, led by Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu had last Sunday issued a 7-day ultimatum to the coup plotters in Niger Republic to restore elected President Mohammed Bazoum to power or face serious measures, including possible military invasion.
President Tinubu had on Friday written to the National Assembly to inform the lawmakers of the resolution of the ECOWAS leaders.
However, while warning that such military intervention by ECOWAS will result in casualties among the innocent citizens, the Northern Senators’ Forum, said the diplomatic option should be explored to tackle the problem of the coup in Niger Republic.
Sen. Suleiman Kawu(NNPP-Kano), the spokesperson for the forum, said this when he briefed newsmen in Abuja on Friday.
The Forum also warned the National Assembly against approving Tinubu’s bid to send Nigeria’s solders to enforce the ECOWAS resolution in Niger.
“The forum under the leadership of Sen. Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi), has noted with concern and condemn in entirety the unfortunate development in Niger Republic where the military forcefully upstaged a democratically elected government of President Mohamed Bazoum.
“The Northern Senators also take cognizance of the efforts of the ECOWAS leaders under the chairmanship of our dear President, Bola Tinubu, in resolving the situation in Niger Republic.
The emphasis however, is that we should be focused on political and diplomatic means to restore democratic government in Niger Republic,” he said.
Kawu added: “We also take exception to use of the of military force until other avenues as mentioned above are exhausted as the consequences will be casualties among the innocent citizens who go about their daily business.
“Besides, about seven northern states who share border with Niger Republic namely Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno will be negatively affected.
“We are also aware of the situation of Mali, Burkina Faso and Libya, which may affect the seven northern states, if military force is used.”
He added that there would be serious implication for Nigeria if military force was considered without exhausting all diplomatic channels.
“As democrats and representatives of the people, we hereby urge our colleagues to observe due diligence in invoking section 5 sub section (4) (a) and (b),” he said.