The tense situation in the neighboring Niger Republic took a new dimension today with the transmission of a letter from Nigerian President Bola Tinubu to the National Assembly, to officially inform them of the impending military action.
Tinubu sent the letter to the Senate to seek approval for the military action to be coordinated under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The action is aimed at restoration of power back to deposed Niger President Bazoum who was ousted by military officers in the country.
Senate President, Godswill Akpabio read the letter on the floor of the house:
See the excerpts below
Following the unfortunate political situation in the Niger Republic culminating in the overthrow of its President, ECOWAS under my leadership condemned the coup in its entirety and resolved to seek the return of the democratically elected govt. in a bid to restore peace, ECOWAS convened a meeting and came out with a communique.
Closure and monitoring of all land borders with the Niger Republic and reactivating of the border drilling exercise.
Cutting off Electricity supply to the Niger Republic
Mobilizing international support for the implementation of the provisions of the ECOWAS communique
Preventing the operation of commercial and special flights into and from Niger Republic
Blockade of goods in transit to Niger especially from Lagos and eastern seaports
Embarking on sensitization of Nigerians and Nigerians on the imperative of these actions, particularly via social media
Military build-up and deployment of personnel for military intervention to enforce compliance of the military junta in Niger should they remain recalcitrant
President Tinubu and some ECOWAS leaders are still pressing for a military action despite warnings from the coup leaders in Niger, who reiterated their intention to defend the country. Russia has also warned against any such military intervention. The Russian position is adding an international dimension to the issue as there are private Russian fighters from the Wagner Group in Niger Republic.