Don't Be Drawn Into French Proxy War In Niger —National Observatory Tells ECOWAS, Nigeria | #NwokeukwuMascot
|President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other members of ECOWAS.
The group said genuine peoples' democracy remains a better path to development over any military regime - be it benevolence or autocratic, stressing that democracy must necessarily deliver on good governance and assure prosperity for the citizens if it must be defended.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by the group's President, Debo Adeniran and Administrative Secretary, Omotaje Olawale, noting that there are no permanent friends or foes in international relations but only permanent interests.
The group lamented the recent coup d'etat in Niger led by General Abdourahamane Omar Tchiani which ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
It said, "This would be the sixth coup d'état in the West Africa sub-region; coming on the heels of military regimes in Mali since August 2020, Chad - April 2021, Guinea - September 2021, Sudan - October 2021, and Burkina Faso - January 2022.
"The sub-continental body, Economic Community of West African States led by Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu issued an ultimatum which lapsed on 6th August 2023 for the usurper military junta to restore democratically President Bazouim in power.
"The Nigerien military putsch has put the coup-vulnerable West Africa sub-region under the spotlight, sparking off rows of salient heated issues on democracy, good governance, regional security, and the influence of foreign powers not only in the sub-region but continental Africa.
“The Nigerian Government sent a diplomatic envoy led by former military Head of State, Rtd. Gen. Abubarkar Abdulsallam and the Sultan of Sokoto Caliphate, Abubarkar Saadu to consult with the Head of Niger coupist on the restoration of the overthrown Bazouim democratic government.
"This mission was, however, dead on arrival. As many persons clamour for military intervention, neighbouring West African States like Mali, Senegal, and other States in the continent vowed to align with the new Niger junta to defend its territories against any aggression.
"The contending concerns revolve around the questions of Sovereignty, Democracy, Control of Natural Resources and Power - Play by Foreign Interests.
"The tragedy of the emerging scenarios is that the interests of Africa and its peoples are not given true and thorough interrogations in finding a panacea to the dooming sceptre of military interregnums in the continent. What is necessary is multilateral relations, the diplomatic solution that will address the fundamental interests of Nigeriens, the Sub Region and Africa, survival, and freedom from the manacles of Foreign Powers' exploitation of our natural resources and domination of African people.
"A critical overview of the African landscape will reveal a continent blessed with abundant natural resources which the entire globe is scrambling to exploit and control at the detrimental expense of Africa and its people.
"The Map of Africa Natural Resources reveal huge deposits of Gold in South Africa, Mali, and Ghana; Diamonds in Botswana and Congo D.R; Crude Oil in Nigeria, Libya; and Uranium in Niger Republic. The scramble for exclusive exploitation of Uranium by its former colonial power, France and Transnational Corporations is the main causative factor for the escalation of instabilities in the Niger Republic.
"The Western Power bloc, queuing behind France is routing for Tchiani and his comrades in arms to go back to the barracks and restore the democratic government of Bazouim, without ruling out the option enforcement of their position by military options.
"Another global power bloc keenly interested in positioning itself in the running of affairs is raising the platitudes of 'Territorial sovereignty'. This block is largely supported by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) group and their Transnational Corporations' fronts."
The "National Observatory, a civic engagement platform to interrogate policy options as they affect citizens' welfare and well-being urged
ECOWAS and Nigeria to be extremely "cautious in considering options for amicable resolutions so as not inadvertently be drawn into a proxy war situation of foreign powers".
It said, "One of these power mongers in the African continent, a Russian head of a Corporation Mercenary Armed Enforcer, "Wagner Group," Yevgeny Prigozhin, succinctly captured the essence of the crisis in Niger when he analyzed how Niger' Uranium is being buccaneered:-
"French company that extracted uranium sold it on the market for $218, while paying Niger only $11 for it. You can work with investors on a 50-50 or 30-70 (%) basis, but it's impossible to give back to the indigenous people of the country, who were born in this country, who live in this country, and who expect that the natural resources of this country belong to them, and according to the Constitution, they belong to them, only 5% of the wealth you receive."