By Vincent Kalu
Elder statesman, Prof Usman Yusuf, has warned that the declaration of war by ECOWAS on Niger Republic is also a declaration of war on Northern Nigeria.
The former Chief Executive of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), gave the warning against the background of the regional body’s intention to use military force to reinstate the overthrown civilian government in that Anglophone country...CONTINUE READING
He said: “Let me dispense with any political correctness and say it loud and clearly that any attempt to invade Niger Republic by a Nigerian led ECOWAS Army in the guise of “safeguarding democracy”, will be a declaration of war on Northern Nigeria and its people because we are the ones that will bear the full brunt of this misguided war. We in the region will not support any act of unprovoked aggression against Niger Republic under any pretence. “We in the north are tired of wars. We have been at war with Boko Haram for 14 years and for nine years with bandits and kidnappers. Thousands of our people continue to be killed and kidnapped while millions have been displaced from their ancestral homes, including the 300,000 that have sought refuge as IDPs in Niger Republic. Our economy, education, infrastructure and social fabric have all been devastated. How can we support any foreign war when our house is on fire?
“At a time when Nigeria is facing the worst insecurity of our lifetime with nauseating corruption, bad governance, youth unemployment and drug abuse, discontent of the citizenry, excruciating poverty brought about by chaotic economic policies, a military invasion of Niger Republic will be reckless with grave consequences beyond the sub-region.”
Instead of starting a new war, Prof Yusuf, called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to channel all his energy on finding ways to stop the bloodshed in the country by ending the wars on Boko Haram and banditry as soon as possible, reconcile warring communities, resettle all IDPs and rebuild communities and the region’s economy.
Niger Republic, he stressed is a landlocked country with a total area of 1,267,000 km². Northern Nigeria shares with it a vast 1,100km long border stretching along Nigeria’s entire Northwesterly to the Northeasterly border. The seven northern states of Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno share a common religious, cultural and ethnic (Zabarmawas, Hausas, Fulanis and Kanuris) heritage with their kinsmen in Niger….CONTINUE READING