The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has called on President Bola Tinubu to lift economic sanctions imposed on neighbouring Niger Republic.
Democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum was deposed on July 26, leading to the imposition of sanctions including electricity cut and closure of borders by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) chaired by Tinubu.
During ECOWAS extraordinary meeting on Thursday, the decision was made to deploy standby military troops to restore constitutional order in Niger Republic.
The convener of NEF, Ango Abdullahi, expressed concern on the use of force to restore constitutional order in Niger Republic, suggesting that it was unlikely to yield positive results.
He emphasised that the removal of sanctions would facilitate negotiations, and urged for diplomacy to prevail.
Abdullahi stated, “Nigeria should remove all sanctions and other measures intended to force the government and people of Niger into acquiescence. This will make negotiations led by Nigeria, using all assets that both countries value, easier to conduct. The use of force against Niger should be ruled out.”
The NEF convener also appealed to Tinubu and citizens of both Nigeria and Niger Republic to preserve their longstanding relationship.
Abdullahi remarked, “We urge President Tinubu to recognise this unique moment in history and conduct himself in a manner that records his role as defining statesmanship. We appeal to the people of Nigeria and Niger, as well as our leaders, to resist any attempt to poison our centuries of relationship.”