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Senate rejects Tinubu’s Request for Military Intervention in Niger Republic

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ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigeria’s Senate on Saturday, August 5, 2023, urged President Bola Tinubu to pursue diplomatic engagement rather than military intervention.

The resolution came after a four-hour closed-door meeting on the crisis in Niger and followed an executive communication from President Tinubu regarding the implementation of resolutions of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, on the political situation in the neighboring country.

Contrary to earlier allegations by Timi Frank, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), that President Tinubu was plotting to declare war on Niger, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, categorically denied any such request.

Akpabio emphasised that there was a misrepresentation of the President’s letter in the media.

According to Akpabio, President Tinubu, acting as Chairman of ECOWAS, sought approval to implement the community’s resolutions.

“By the virtue of the correspondence of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the Commander-in-Chief, he has not asked for the approval of the parliament or of the Senate to go to war as erroneously suggested in some quarters, rather Mr President and Commander-in-Chief had expressed and I quote, in which to respectfully solicit support in the successful implementation of the ECOWAS resolutions in the said communications,” Akpabio said.

The Senate further called on President Tinubu to encourage other leaders of ECOWAS to strengthen political and diplomatic options to resolve the impasse in Niger.

The Senate’s clear stance serves as a significant counterpoint to recent allegations and provides a directive for Nigeria’s approach to the unfolding situation in Niger.

It reflects a commitment to regional stability and cooperation, underlining the importance of dialogue and diplomacy in the face of challenges that have regional implications.

As the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Tinubu’s leadership will play a crucial role in shaping the regional response to the Niger crisis, and the Senate’s resolution sets a clear path forward, reinforcing the principles of peaceful engagement, collaboration, and adherence to the rule of law.

The unfolding situation in Niger continues to be a matter of concern for West Africa, and the region looks to its leaders to find a path to peace and stability through concerted diplomatic efforts and adherence to shared values and principles.

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