Nasir El-Rufai, the former Governor of Kaduna State, has issued a strong caution to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regarding its proposed military intervention in Niger Republic. El-Rufai emphasized the importance of exercising prudence in the face of this situation, citing the fraternal ties among African nations and the potential harm that conflict could inflict on the entire region.
El-Rufai conveyed his message via a post on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, underscoring the interconnectedness of African nationals as brothers and sisters. He highlighted the shared bonds between Nigerien nationals and Nigerian citizens in the northern regions, stressing their common heritage.
The former governor’s warning comes in response to recent statements from ECOWAS defense chiefs, who indicated their willingness to employ force against the junta led by General Abdoulrahamane Tchiani in Niger. The junta had seized power by overthrowing the democratically elected government of President Mohamed Bazoum.
El-Rufai drew attention to the historical significance of the situation, invoking the sentiments of the 1970s rock classic “Brothers in Arms” by Dire Straits. He pointed out that a conflict within the subregion would be tantamount to a war between brothers, highlighting the close kinship shared by the people of Niger Republic and those residing in Northern Nigeria. In light of this shared bond, he urged caution to prevent the escalation of tensions to the point of civil strife between neighboring nations.
TUESDAY THOUGHT: 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.…
— Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai (@elrufai) August 22, 2023
ECOWAS, a regional organization known for its efforts to promote stability and cooperation among West African countries, has not ruled out the possibility of deploying troops to confront the junta and restore democratic governance in Niger. El-Rufai’s message resonates with the need to seek peaceful solutions and preserve the unity that underpins the relationship between nations in the subregion.
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