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CSJ warns against planned deployment of soldiers to intervene in Niger Republic

by Business News Report

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) expresses deep concern over the communication by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the National Assembly seeking approval for a military build-up and deployment of personnel for military intervention to enforce compliance of the military junta to the demand of the Economic Community for West African States for the restoration of democracy in Niger Republic. A statement by CSJ’s Lead Director Eze Onyekpere and Strategic Communications Officer, Victor Okeke, noted that while the situation in Niger Republic demands attention and action, CSJ believes that a diplomatic approach should be prioritised over military intervention. While we insist on dialogue, the Federal Government of Nigeria should allow the already announced sanctions to impact on the military junta in the Niger Republic. CSJ acknowledged the severity of the political upheaval in Niger Republic and the importance of reinstating the legitimate government. However, CSJ advocated for careful consideration of the implications of military intervention, especially in the context of Nigeria’s current domestic challenges.

“It is vital to recognise that Nigeria is currently grappling with significant economic difficulties at home. Engaging in a foreign military conflict without a robust economy, at a time of deepening misery and poverty in Nigeria is a precarious move that could further strain our resources,” stated Onyekpere and Okeke. “Additionally, our military is already extensively engaged in various domestic combat missions across different regions of the country. Deploying troops to Niger Republic might overextend our armed forces and weaken our capacity to address internal security challenges effectively.” CSJ highlighted the need for a comprehensive assessment of the situation and the potential consequences of deploying troops to Niger Republic. The organisation emphasised that the decision should not be rushed and should consider the diverse perspectives and concerns of the Nigerian population beyond the National Assembly.

“Niger Republic shares porous borders with Nigeria, and any escalation of the crisis could result in refugee influx and other adverse impacts that could further burden our nation,” CSJ said. “We strongly recommend that diplomatic channels and non-confrontational approaches be exhaustively explored to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Nigeria’s long-term stability is interconnected with the stability of its neighbours, and a peaceful resolution in Niger Republic would be in our nation’s best interest.” CSJ called upon the government to engage in a transparent and inclusive dialogue that involves a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society organisations, security experts, regional partners, and the general public. “By doing so, a well-rounded and carefully considered approach can be developed to address the situation in Niger Republic without jeopardising Nigeria’s stability and security,” the CSJ added. Finally, CSJ called on the National Assembly to withhold approval for the deployment of troops for any form of combat operations against Niger Republic. 

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