ABUJA- Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has cautioned the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against the engagement of military to military to restore democratic order in Niger Republic.
Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a statement signed by himself in Abuja on Thursday, said that the crisis in Niger required sustained diplomatic engagements.
He said the military intervention in the Republic of Niger had created tension across the West Africa sub-region, a development that has caused international attention to that neighbouring country to Nigeria.
Abubakar said that the putsch was even more worrisome because the number of states that had witnessed military interventions in the last three years in the sub-region was increasing.
“Of course, the world expects Nigeria to take up leadership in ensuring that the crisis of political leadership in the Republic of Niger is not just curtailed but also ensuring the restoration of democratic governance in that country.
“While the expectations that fall on Nigeria as the sub-regional leader is not a quick fix, it must be expressed that the role taken so far by the ECOWAS has been commendable.
“As the ECOWAS continues to work towards reinstating democracy in the Republic of Niger, it must be reinforced that the regional body should not travel the road of military hostilities that may exacerbate the situation.
“The crisis in the Republic of Niger requires diplomatic engagement, and that must mean that the channels for dialogue should be well sustained.
“While the world expects Nigeria to take a leading role in this process of peaceful conflict resolution, it must be clear to the military insurrectionists in the Republic of Niger that the world cannot afford to wait for too long before this crisis is resolved reasonably,“ he said.
Abubakar said that the development was undoubtedly a challenging time for the West African region.
He, however, said any actions taken towards the prompt resolution of the crisis in the Republic of Niger must prioritize democracy as the ultimate victor. (NAN)