A former Director-General of the Obi-Datti presidential campaign council and former Peoples Democratic Party’s Spokesperson, Doyin Okupe, has thrown his weight behind President Bola Tinubu-led Economic Community of West African Countries’ proposed military intervention in the ongoing Niger coup.
Disclosing this while speaking on the current military coup in Niger Republic, said the actions of the military leaders in the country, are demeaning to the entire ECOWAS, noting that the military group in the country need to be dealt with, by the ECOWAS troops.
It would be recalled that the military guards in the country had held the elected president of the country, Mohamed Bazoum, and the members of his family at the presidential lodge since last week Wednesday, while the leader of the guards, General Abdouramane Tchiani had also declared a takeover of governance, announcing himself, as the new president if the country.
However, despite calls from different countries of the world, and the 7 days ultimatum, given by the ECOWAS, to reinstall the Democratically elected President of the country, Bazoum, back to power, the military government had continue to warn ECOWAS against any intervention, and it has also started cutting diplomatic ties will some countries of the world.
However, Tinubu as the Chairman of ECOWAS, had on Friday, sent a letter to the Senate, requesting approval, to deploy Nigeria military personnel, to the country, for peace broker, alongside other ECOWAS troops, following the rejection of the peace talk by the ECOWAS delegation on Thursday.
In his reaction to the development, Okupe stated that regardless of who is the president Nigerians and political leaders must unite to defend the country.
Okupe maintained that Tinubu is fighting for the enthronement of democracy in West Africa, which is a commendable act.
“I did not ask that Nigeria should go to war. I condemn the military leadership in Niger.
“They disrespected the Nigerian president and demeaned our country by breaking our diplomatic relationship with us, even though we initiated a peace move by sending a high-powered delegation consisting of a highly globally respected former Head of State.
“They dared to rebuff our peace negotiators and went ahead to break diplomatic relations with Nigeria! Who are these unknown elements? I have no apology for this position.
“I have always spoken my mind on all matters of national interest. And freedom of speech allows me to do so – Fact. I am too old to change that just to please people or friends
“That was why I stood out boldly to support Obi against the run of play and all my friends and political associates in the southwest.
“Obi never solicited for my support, neither did he lobby me. I did not ask for a kobo, and I received none.
“I will always stand for and with Nigeria, no matter who the president is. You can only appreciate this with years of statesmanship and political maturity,” Okupe said.
He however explained that patriotism is neither dependent on winning or losing elections/power, nor is it about who is in power at any given time or period, but an unyielding commitment to protecting the sovereignty and integrity of a nation.