The Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond has rejected the proposed military intervention in Niger Republic by the Economic Community of West African States.
In a statement on Wednesday, the coalition led by its Chairperson and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN. asked ECOWAS to consider imposing more sanctions on the Niger coup leaders.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the coalition said it is important for the regional body to focus on the causes of the coup which has become a pattern in West Africa, and arrest the ugly development.
The statement read, “Since the call for the diplomatic initiative by the security chiefs reflects the wishes of the people of West Africa, the Authority of the Heads of State and Government should jettison the military option and impose more sanctions with a view to isolating the military junta in Niger.
“Until about three years ago, all the member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) were led by democratically elected governments. But, since some ECOWAS leaders decided to extend their tenure, there had been about nine successful and unsuccessful coups in West Africa.
“In view of the meeting of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, the highest decision-making organ of the ECOWAS scheduled to hold in Abuja on Thursday, August 10, 2023, it is pertinent to draw attention to the main causes of unconstitutional change of government and how to arrest the ugly development.”
ASCAB said the immediate cause of unconstitutional change of governments is the manipulation of constitutions and referenda by elected governments to extend the tenure of presidents.
The group noted that ECOWAS had attempted to restrict West African presidents to two terms in office but has been opposed by leaders of countries who are scheming to extend their tenure.
It added, “The new chairman of ECOWAS, President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, should ensure that the amendment is passed forthwith while sanctions are imposed on democratically elected presidents who engage in amendment of the national constitutions to extend their tenure beyond two terms.”