Niger Coup: NLC urges ECOWAS to adopt diplomacy, not military option
The Nigeria Labour Congress has urged ECOWAS leaders to adopt diplomatic option with the coup plotters in Niger Republic rather than wagging war on the country.
SOLACEBASE reports that NLC said despite the aversion of the labour movement to military take over of government , it will not support the use of force in Niger .
A statement issued by NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, on Sunday in Abuja, said the tense statement issued at the end of its second extraordinary summit of the Authority of ECOWAS
(Committee of Heads of State/Governments) on Thursday , directing the Committee of Chief of Defence Staff to activate the ECOWAS standby force with all its elements immediately and deployment of the ECOWAS standby force to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger is uncalled for.
‘’This is a euphemism for war, immediate war on Niger Republic, our consistently most peaceful neighbour,’’ the statement said.
According to the statement, ‘’it will amount to stating the obvious that we at the Nigeria Labour Congress are averse to military rule. Indeed the history of the struggle for democratic rule in Nigeria cannot be complete without mentioning the illustrious contribution of the Labour Movement.’’
‘’Despite our unimpeachable credentials in the popular struggle against military rule, we would strongly counsel against the use of military force to remove the military junta in Niger Republic as the disadvantages clearly outweigh the benefits….from putting in danger the lives of the deposed President Bazoum and his family to the destabilisation of the entire region including Northern Nigeria, and loss of many lives in and out of the battle field. Equally of significance is the unintended possibility of turning Niger into a fertile territory for proxy wars.
The statement said even after the war is over, the region must brace itself for raised acts of terrorism or insurgency just as it might signal the end of ECOWAS as we know it today given the scenario of ten members fighting five.
‘’Suspicions are rife that the ECOWAS leadership is trying to pull out of the fire the nut for and on behalf of another or others. While we cannot ascertain the veracity of these claims, ECOWAS must conduct itself in such a manner that its citizens and the world would believe it has a mind of its own. Coupled with this, we at the Nigeria Labour Congress have reason to believe that ECOWAS in part is victim of its double standards or discriminatory policies as it was in some instances seen as condoning and even celebrating coups.’’
In the extant matter of Niger Republic, we equally do believe that ECOWAS did not exhaust the process of dialogue before beating war drums. The missions to Niamey were seen as an afterthought.
One of the consequences of weaponising electricity supply to Niger Republic is the right of proportionate responsorial action by way of Niger Republic damming the Niger River with unimaginable effects on our echo system.
Beyond all this, time has come for us to ask ourselves if we have the economic strength to prosecute this war. Even seasoned Generals do admit that we can often predict the beginning of wars but can seldom tell how they end.
‘’As we stated at the beginning of this statement, we are advocates of democracy and will do all that is necessary to promote and preserve it. However, what will preserve democracy in our territories will not be the threat or use of military force against sovereign nations but the observance of the core values and rules of democracy. It is up to our Presidents or political leaders to do the needful. It is in consideration of these that we join other organisations and respected.’’