A Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Femi Fani Kayode, has challenged the military commanders in the regional bloc of the Economic Community of West African Countries, to provide answers to some questions he asked, concerning their preparedness for the intended military intervention in the military coup in the Niger Republic.
Fani-Kayode who made this disclosure via his X handle (formerly Twitter) on Monday, August 21, 2023, asked the army commanders, “Can we successfully attack a country where the civilians are holding rallies in solidarity with their supposed oppressor?
He also asked,” Has this ECOWAS “force” already been formed or will they divide the operation into sectors with each country taking a sector?
It would be recalled that ECOWAS regional bloc had recently activated its military force, to remain on standby in Niger Republic, following the military coup plotters, to back down, after relinquishing power from the ousted Constitutionally-elected President of the country, Mohamed Bazoum, on the 26th of May, 2023.
The military leaders in the country have put Bazoum under house arrest since he was ousted from power, against the order of the ECOWAS, which has continued to ask for his reinstatement.
The ECOWAS regional bloc had in its emergency meetings in Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria asked the coup plotters to reinstall the country back to its democratic rule.
Meanwhile, the ECOWAS has expressed readiness to continue employing diplomatic means of settling the issue, but also promised to activate its military force, after all the diplomatic means are exhausted.
The military commanders however, during their 2-day meetings in Accra, Ghana recently, expressed readiness to use the military intervention to effect the democratic rule in Niger.
Reacting to the development, Fani-Kayode wrote: “I am constrained to respectfully put the following questions to these ECOWAS military commanders and I challenge them to provide the answers.
“Can we successfully attack a country where the civilians are holding rallies in solidarity with their supposed oppressors?
“Quite apart from that has this ECOWAS “force” already been formed or will they divide the operation into sectors with each country taking a sector?
“Where is the Command HQ located? Who takes care of Nigér’s sector 3 of the MNJTF in Lake Chad, for I guess they will withdraw their troops?
“If Burkina Faso and Mali join Nigér forces, as they threatened they would, who blocks the southward movement of the insurgents and terrorists scattered around the triangular borders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigér?
“Is the Russian Wagner force still active in the region? Have we prepared adequately to handle the weapons and drug trafficking across the borders of Niger since our partners in that nation are now our enemies?
“Even with them working with us, cross-border crimes are still serious issues.
“Will the AU or the UN or the West be responsible for the logistics? As of now, Nigeria can’t afford to do so at least in ECOMOG. We simply do not have the financial wherewithal or the resources.
“In my view, we should still vigorously pursue the application of conflict resolution mechanisms to buy time to address these questions.
“If the Niger Republic and her allies deliberately open a corridor for the elements of ISIS, AQIM, ISWAP etc to move into Benin and Togo, ECOWAS’ weakest link, then the whole of Nigeria’s western borders, from Sokoto to Lagos, would be vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
“Already some of the elements have penetrated Niger State, around Borgu and Shiriro, very close to the Benin Republic and some states in the South West of Nigeria.”