As tensions remain high in Nigeria and across the African continent over the possibility of military intervention in Niger following ECOWAS’ threat of force if President Mohamed Bazoum is not reinstated within a week, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has clarified its position.
According to the DHQ, as of the present moment, the Nigerian armed forces have not received any orders for military intervention in the Republic of Niger.
Tukur Gusau, director of defence information, made this statement on Thursday, refuting reports that the Nigerian army is assembling its forces for military action in Niger.
Gusau emphasized that the army is awaiting instructions from the appropriate authority before engaging in any action against the Niger military junta.
“It is no longer news that some members of the Republic of Niger Armed Forces seized power from a democratically elected government through unconstitutional means,” Gusau said.
He further explained, “In reaction to this illegal takeover of government, the ECOWAS Heads of Government met and a series of options were reached on how to intervene in the crisis. The military option was the last option to be taken in case every other option fails, to reverse the situation and return the Government of the Republic of Niger to constitutional order.”
Presently, the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff is holding an extraordinary meeting in Abuja to discuss the political situation in the Republic of Niger and present their plans to the ECOWAS committee of Heads of State and Government for consideration.
Gusau concluded by stating that the Armed Forces of Nigeria cannot proceed with any operation in any ECOWAS member state without a mandate from the Authority of Heads of State and Government.
As negotiations continue, an ECOWAS delegation led by Abdulsalami Abubakar, former military head of state, arrived in Niger on Wednesday to meet with the Military junta.