Senate rejects Tinubu’s request to invade Niger Republic over coup

The Nigerian Senate has rejected a request by President Bola Tinubu that Nigeria intervene militarily in the Niger Republic.

Recall that the Nigerien military overthrew the democratically elected government in the country last week, and Tinubu had written to the Senate requesting that they pass a resolution to allow Nigeria to intervene to restore democracy.

The letter which was read during plenary on Friday by President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, said Nigeria, in compliance with ECOWAS resolution will undertake “military buildup and deployment of personnel for military intervention to enforce compliance of the military junta in Niger should they remain recalcitrant.

“Closure and monitoring of all land borders with the Niger Republic and reactivation of the border drilling exercise.

“Cutting off Electricity supply to the Niger Republic, mobilising 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,” the president added.

The Senate, however, did not grant the request during an executive session on Saturday.

In a statement, Senate President Godswill Akpabio said that the Senate had “categorically” decided not to intervene militarily in Niger.

Akpabio said that the Senate was concerned about the coup in Niger, but that they believed that military intervention would not be the best way to restore democracy.

He said that the Senate would instead focus on diplomatic and economic measures to pressure the junta to step down.

Rather Mr President has expressed a wish to respectfully solicit the support of the National Assembly in the successful implementation of the resolutions of the ECOWAS as outlined in the said communication.

“The Senate calls on the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the chairman of ECOWAS to further encourage other leaders of ECOWAS to strengthen political and diplomatic options and other means intending to resolve the political compass in Niger Republic.

“The National Assembly to the ECOWAS under the leadership of President Tinubu in resolving the political situation in Niger and returning the country to democratic governance in the nearest future.

“The leadership of the Senate is mandated to further engage with the president and commander in chief with on behalf of the Senate and the entire National Assembly on how best to resolve the issue given the hitherto existing cordial relationship between Nigerieans and Nigerians.

“Finally, the Senate calls on the ECOWAS parliament to rise to the occasion by equally condemning this coup and also positing solutions to resolving this compass as soon as possible,” the senate president said.

✍️ Temitope Hassan