President Bola Tinubu has received a warning from former governor Nasir El-rufai that ECOWAS forces attacking Niger will be declaring civil war against northern Nigeria.
Tuesday morning, Mr. El-Rufai issued this warning in a tweet after remaining silent in public over recent political developments in Niger and the reactions of ECOWAS.
“As ECOWAS beats the drums of war, I recall the 1970s rock classic by Dire Straits — ‘Brothers in Arms’, because a war within our subregion is a war between brothers,” Mr. El-Rufai stated.
He continued, “In fact, the inhabitants of the Niger Republic are the same as those who reside in Northern Nigeria. Therefore, let’s do everything in our power to prevent this conflict among brothers.
El-Rufai’s warning comes weeks after ECOWAS ordered its forces to be on standby to restore constitutional order in Niger following the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum by members of his presidential guards in July. They had a fallout over a ministry appointment.
Omar Alieu Touray, president of ECOWAS, issued a directive for its forces to be prepared to strike the troubled nation on August 10 at the second extraordinary meeting on the sociopolitical situation in the Republic of Niger held in Abuja.
Mr. Touray stated, “We direct the committee of defense staff to activate the ECOWAS standby force with all its elements immediately,” adding that the goal of the move was to “restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.”
At the conference, Mr. Tinubu, the ECOWAS chair, emphasized that the stability of Nigeria and other West African nations was threatened by the ongoing political turmoil in the Niger Republic.