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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has assured those intervening in the political crisis in Niger Republic that the war option would come last for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) after all diplomatic options must have been exhausted.
Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA) led by the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, at the State House, President Tinubu noted that the alternative of kinetic intervention in the Niger Republic had not been jettisoned.
According to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu, however, insisted that any forceful removal of a democratic government remains “wholly unacceptable.”
“I must thank you for your several visits to Niger Republic, Your Eminence, but you will still have to go back. My fear has been confirmed in Gabon that copycats will start doing the same thing until it is stopped. We are neighbours with Niger Republic, and what has joined Nigerians together with their great people cannot be broken.
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“Nobody is interested in a war. We have seen the devastation in Ukraine and Sudan. But, if we don’t wield the big stick, we will all suffer the consequences together,” the President warned.
President Tinubu noted that Nigeria, under General Abdulsalami Abubakar, instituted a nine-month transition programme in 1998, and it proved very successful, leading the country into a new era of democratic governance.
The President said he sees no reason why such cannot be replicated in Niger if Niger’s military authorities are sincere.
“Your Eminence, please don’t get tired, you will still go back there. The soldiers’ action is unacceptable. The earlier they make positive adjustments, the quicker we will dial back the sanctions to alleviate the sufferings we are seeing in Niger,” the President affirmed.
On the hardship faced by many Nigerians post-fuel subsidy removal, the President assured that all ongoing reforms will liberate and reposition the economy, which will benefit the majority of the population in terms of opportunities, infrastructure, healthcare and education.
“Nigeria is headed for a promise. Our diversity will turn into prosperity, not adversity. We will build a country that our children will be proud of.”