Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has urged the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to decline the risky proposal put forth by France and its allies, suggesting involvement in a proxy conflict within the Niger Republic.
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In a statement released on Friday, Falana appealed to ECOWAS to scale down the sanctions imposed on the military junta in Niger Republic. He pointed out that the general population, despite not participating in the planning and execution of the coup d’état that ousted the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, is currently enduring the consequences of these sanctions....CONTINUE READING
Highlighting the unequal distribution of the sanctions’ effects, Falana emphasized that while the military junta members and the political elite have managed to switch to generator-powered electricity, the masses are left in darkness. The Nigerian government has taken the measure of cutting off electricity supply to the Niger Republic in response to the coup.
Falana drew parallels with prior instances, mentioning how ECOWAS imposed targeted sanctions on military junta members after democratic governments were overthrown in Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali. He stressed that such sanctions were lifted to encourage the return to democratic governance. However, in the case of the recent overthrow of President Bazoum, ECOWAS suspended and imposed economic sanctions on the Niger Republic.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission, justifying the power disruption, cited Niger Republic’s debt of N4.22bn ($5.48 million) to Nigeria for power supply. As Nigeria provides approximately 70 percent of Niger Republic’s electricity under a valid agreement, Falana argued that the civilian population bears the brunt of this policy, while the military junta and political class rely on generators.
Falana called upon President Tinubu to instruct the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission to promptly restore electricity to Niger Republic, reasoning that the members of the military regime remain unaffected by the disconnection. He suggested that all sanctions should target the Nigerien military junta exclusively, facilitating the expedited return to democratic rule.
Highlighting the pattern of unconstitutional government changes across Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger, Falana urged Ecowas and the African Union to treat these situations equally. Although initial plans for military action were met with opposition across Ecowas member states, Falana advised that dialogue with the military junta should now take precedence.
Echoing the recommendations of the Ecowas Security Committee, Falana concluded that ECOWAS leaders should reject the perilous invitation from France and its allies, which seeks to involve them in a proxy war in Niger Republic….CONTINUE READING