In light of the recent coup in the Niger Republic, Professor Jonah Onuoha has cautioned the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from resorting to military force.
Former UNN Department of Political Science Head Onuoha recommended beginning with diplomatic efforts.
This was part of an interview he gave to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Nsukka, during which he discussed the recent coup in Niger that resulted in the removal of the country’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoun.
In a diplomatic appeal, he urged the Economic Community of West African States to engage in talks with the military junta and guarantee its members’ safety if democracy were restored in the nation.
The crisis in Niger will only get worse if military action is taken first, since the coup’s leaders will fight to the dead to avoid being executed if they are defeated.
But if ECOWAS were to meet with the coup’s leaders, talk to them, and appeal to their conscience, the situation would improve.
If the coup leaders agree to restore democratic rule in the country, “ECOWAS should also assure them that no harm will befall any of them,” he said.
The University Don stated that ECOWAS should only deploy military force from West African countries to remove the military power usurpers in that country if all other diplomatic efforts have failed.
As a final resort, military action may be justifiable if all other diplomatic efforts have failed.
Nonetheless, he insisted that Nigeria’s military couldn’t handle the situation in Niger on its own just because President Bola Tinubu chairs the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).