Nigerian President Bola Tinubu seeks senate support for the invasion of Niger following breakdown of negotiations
President Bola Tinubu the President of Nigeria and chairman of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) has written to the senate to seek approval for his planned invasion of Niger, Friday.
His letter comes following breakdown of talks with the military junta leaders in Niamey the Nigerien capital, Thursday.
Niger’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, was toppled by his guards in a palace coup. Tinubu had on Sunday met with some fellow ECOWAS leaders to discuss appropriate ways to restore democracy in Niger.
The President’s letter read, “Political situation in Niger. Following the unfortunate political situation in Niger Republic culminating in the overthrow of its President, ECOWAS under my leadership condemned the coup in its entirety and resolved to seek the return of the democratically elected govt in a bid to restore peace, ECOWAS convened a meeting and came out with a communique.”
Tinubu asked the senate for approval for a military campaign in Niger to restore Bazoum who was toppled on July 26.
“Military buildup and deployment of personnel for military intervention to enforce compliance of the military junta in Niger should they remain recalcitrant.” The letter stated.
On Wednesday Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) top secret signal leaked stating 2 battalions of Nigerian Army soldiers infantry, armour and artillery, a company of Nigerian Navy special forces and air assets of the Nigerian Air Force would be required for operations in Niger; enforcing a no fly zone and land blockade.
“Closure and monitoring of all land borders with the Niger Republic and reactivating of the border drilling exercise.
“Cutting off Electricity supply to the Niger Republic, mobilising international support for the implementation of the provisions of the ECOWAS communique.”
“Preventing the operation of commercial and special flights into and from Niger Republic; Blockade of goods in transit to Niger especially from Lagos and eastern seaports,” Tinubu stated in the letter.
The Nigerian president also told the senate that his administration was embarking on a sensitisation campaign on why a military operation in Niger was necessary using social media.
Akowe with reports from Abuja