Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25, 2023 election, has expressed his perspective on the ongoing standoff with coupists in Niger Republic, advising both the Federal Government and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to prioritize diplomacy over military intervention.
Obi shared his viewpoint through a series of tweets posted on his official handle on Sunday.
The Labour Party candidate stressed the significance of diplomacy as the foremost option for resolving the recent developments in Niger Republic. He emphasized that despite the diverse interests held by various parties, dialogue and diplomacy should take precedence in finding a resolution that minimizes the disruption for Nigeria and the West African sub-region.
Obi applauded the mediation efforts of notable figures, including former Head of State Gen. Abudusalami Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, and the 14th Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
He advocated that any intervention in the crisis should primarily occur through diplomatic dialogues involving all strategic parties invested in the situation. He highlighted the importance of allowing the people of Niger to swiftly return to a representative democratic government through their national institutions and urged for the extension of national, regional, and international assistance to help Niger restore normalcy.
While acknowledging ECOWAS’s aim to discourage the proliferation of military dictatorships in West Africa, Obi proposed that the resort to armed deterrence should be tempered by multilateral diplomatic mechanisms.
Furthermore, he stressed the need for a coordinated multilateral coalition involving Nigeria, ECOWAS, the African Union (AU), and the United Nations (UN) to facilitate a gradual return to a democratic constitutional order in Niger. He asserted that Nigeria’s leadership role in this process should remain unquestionable.
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