Amidst AU suspension, El’rufai warns ECOWAS against war in Niger

Immediate past governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El’rufai, has urged the leaders of Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS) to have a rethink in their resolve to invade Niger Republic in a move to force it’s return to civilian administration.
The former governor’s call is coming even as the African Union on Tuesday announced the suspension of Niger from its institutions and activities following last month’s coup, pending the restoration of constitutional order in the country.
The African Union in a communique issued on Tuesday, said its decision to suspend Niger followed the failure of the military junta to restore power to the democratically elected President, Mohammed Bazoum.
“The AU decides, in line with the relevant AU instruments, in particular, the AU Constitutive Act, the Protocol 9 I’mRelating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, to immediately suspend the participation of the Republic of Niger from all activities of the AU and its Organs and institutions until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country.
“The AU in this regard, calls upon all Member States of the AU and the international community including bilateral and multilateral partners, at large to reject this unconstitutional change of government and to refrain from any action likely to grant legitimacy to the illegal regime in Niger.”
The AU also commended the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States in its efforts to ensure a return to democratic rule in Niger.
“The AU commends the efforts of ECOWAS under the leadership of H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and calls on AU Member States to fully implement the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS and endorsed by the PSC and requests the Commission, in consultation with ECOWAS, to regularly inform the Council on the progress being made on the implementation of the imposed sanctions.”
El’ rufai, who was recently dropped by the Nigerian senate as a minister nominee by president Bola Tinubu, following alleged indicting security reports, cautioned the Economic Community of West African States against military intervention in Niger Republic.
Recall that ECOWAS defence chiefs had on Thursday declared readiness to participate in a standby force that would restore democracy in Niger after generals toppled and detained President Mohamed Bazoum.
The former governor in a statement he issued through his X account said, “As ECOWAS beats the drums of war, I recall the 1970s rock classic by Dire Straits – ‘Brothers in Arms’, because a war within our subregion is a war between brothers. Indeed, the people of Niger Republic are one and the same with those living in Northern Nigeria.
“Let us bend therefore over backwards to avoid this civil war between brothers.”

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