In Niger, Bishop Ugorji advises Tinubu not to use force to crush coup plotters

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To prevent ECOWAS leaders from using military force to subdue coup plotters in Niger Republic, the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Most Reverend Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to do so.

On Sunday, while on a pastoral visit to the Mary Mother of God Catholic Parish in Upe, Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State, Archbishop Ugorji issued the appeal.

The President of the CBCN stated, “About a week ago, ECOWAS chiefs of state gathered in Abuja to discuss the recent coup d’etat in the Niger Republic. A week to restore democratic administration in Niger or face the possibility of military intervention was offered to the coup plotters at the end of the meeting.

To the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS): “We beg you not to join the battle against the coup plotters. Please stop the bloodbath that will ensue from a military attack, as we beg you.

A lot of human life was wasted in Africa. Furthermore, we have wasted precious human lives in Nigeria, and there is no justification for this.

“At this point, we do not know who is providing financial support for the coup plotters. There is also the issue of not knowing who is behind the decisions made by the ECOWAS leaders. One day, this might be the subject of a new story.

The news media are inundated with reports of countries who have publicly proclaimed their support for the country and its military strongmen. Russia could be present as well, hidden from our view.

For the same reasons that we reject coups d’etats, we also reject war. Changing the outcome of an election is another form of a coup, hence we strongly oppose it.

We strongly urge President Tinubu to refrain from sending troops to Niger. Not only did Nigeria play a crucial part in the ECOMOG operation, but it also suffered the most in terms of casualties and damaged equipment.

When considering whether or not to launch a military intervention in Niger, ECOWAS chiefs of state should keep the organization’s future in mind.

We have been emphasizing that temporary policies do little to permanently improve the economy. Similarly, violence is not the answer to a problem with communication. A full-scale battle, the end of which can never be predicted with any certainty, should be avoided in favor of talks.

Archbishop Ugorji went on to tell the Federal Government that if Niger is attacked, people from Niger will flee to Nigeria.

While we are struggling with our weak economic conditions, this is not what we should pray for, Ugorji remarked.

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