Academics and stakeholders have warned that the Economic Community of West African States, have explained why the regional body needs to restore constitutional order in Niger Republic.
Premium Politics reported that the West African country was subjected to a coup after its military ousted its democratically elected president, Mohammed Bazoum.
According to experts, ECOWAS may cease to exist as a body if it fails to restore democratic rule in the Republic of Niger.
According to The PUNCH, the experts stated this on Friday at a symposium organised by the Department of History and International Relations of the Lagos State University.
The symposium chairman and Head of Department, Dr Adewunmi Falode, stated that the conference aimed to keep the public updated about advancements in Niger.
“The essence of the symposium is to let the general public know the truth fact of the situation. we are scholars and we are dispassionate. we work on facts and not emotions. Our analysis is pure. it will serve as a guidance to what is happening in that part of the world,” he said.
Speaking on the topic of ‘Coup D’etat in Niger Republic: National, Regional, and Global Ramifications,’ the researchers stated that it was past time for ECOWAS to put a stop to what could become a pattern of military dictatorship in the area.
A lecturer in the department, Dr Olawale Lawal, believes the military option is preferable, adding that the ECOWAS standby force is capable.
He went on to say that the situation in Niger was the first classic example of how ECOWAS intended to employ its newly established combined force.
As Lawal pointed out, we all have international organisations, and in developing them, there are diplomatic means, as well as military choices. They are all involved in diplomatic relations. When they have a problem, they talk about it. That is why conventions, protocols, and declarations exist. However, if you violate some of these norms, there will be a notification of intentions, and failure to adhere to some of the conventions will result in the deployment of armed force.
“In December 2022, West Africa came out with a standing military command to tackle fundamental jihadism and coup d’etat. All other coups preceded the December date while the Niger coup is happening after then, so Niger is the first classical example of the demonstration of the might of what ECOWAS wanted to use the Army for. At the end of the day, the military of Niger and the countries supporting all put together cannot defeat the ECOWAS.”
Dr Habeeb Sanni, another speaker, stated that ECOWAS must use the military option or cease to exist.
He stated that the military has no place in politics and that the coup in Niger is antithetical to democratic norms.
According to Dr. Henry Ogunjewo of the University of Lagos’ Department of History and Strategic Studies, no one knows whose country will be next if ECOWAS fails to act.