Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo Against Military Action In Niger Republic

Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo says the decision taken by ECOWAS to invade Niger with a standby force is not the right thing to do.

He said ECOWAS should not have come across as belligerent when the coup took place but should have come out with a statement of ameliorating things. President Obasanjo was speaking to Youth Bridge Foundation’s Communications and Advocacy Manager Thomas Adotei Pappoe on the sidelines of the 15th African youth and Governance Convergence in Mankessim Ghana.

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS sub region has been hit by a wave of coups recently the latest occurring in Niger. ECOWAS after its deadline to the military Junta to restore president Mohammed Bazoum expired announced a standby force but that move has been heavily criticized. The former Nigerian head of State recalled telling Ghana’s General Akuffo that Nigerian troops coming to Ghana to restore constitutionality when a similar coup occurred was not the right thing to do.

He said the spread of coups is as a result of deep-rooted causes in Africa which has not been treated. “What we have now in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and now in Niger Republic, we should interrogate and ask ourselves what are the causes”.

He said some leaders lack understanding of what independence is which does not mean life more abundant but great sacrifice to add to the economic situation and improve tremendously. He enquired what contributions African countries have made to the economies of their countries?

President Obasanjo said he is not the least surprised that the recent coups are being supported by citizens. “The public are human beings; they know what is going on. If any leader anywhere in the world wants to ride roughshod on the public, he is undermining himself or herself. You can trample on them for most of the time and one time when they are fed-up and their back is against the wall, they will become desperate and for a frustrated and desperate community anything can happen”

He said private armies like Wagner from Russia is a great threat to Africa and must be stopped from operating. Commending Youth Bridge Foundation for creating the leadership grooming platform, President Obasanjo encouraged youth attending the African Youth and Governance Convergence from across Africa to be organized in their approach the only way he said they can leverage to make their unified voices heard in governance.

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