A recent video featuring a concerned man from Nigeria’s northern region, Comrade Muhammad Alheri, has captured attention as he critiques the response of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), particularly under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, towards the ongoing political crisis in Niger Republic.
In the video, Comrade Muhammad Alheri expressed his dissatisfaction with the handling of the Niger coup crisis by ECOWAS, led by President Bola Tinubu. He posited that had Niger Republic shared borders with states in Nigeria’s Yorubaland, the approach to resolving the crisis might not have involved the consideration of military intervention. He voiced his concerns about the potential conflict that such an intervention could create between neighboring countries and the familial ties that connect their residents.
Addressing President Tinubu, Comrade Muhammad Alheri stated, “Nigeria and Niger, we are together. You, Mr. President, Alhaji Bola Tinubu, if to say you share borders with Niger, the Yorubas, western part of Nigeria, Lagos, Oyo, Ekiti, and Osun, if they share borders with the Niger Republic, can you suggest for Nigeria to go to war with the Republic of Niger? So don’t play with our intelligence. We voted for you tremendously.”
He further questioned the consistency of ECOWAS’ actions in response to political crises across West African nations. He highlighted instances of recent coups in Guinea Conakry, Mali, and Burkina Faso, where ECOWAS did not exhibit the same readiness for intervention as it did in the case of Niger Republic. Comrade Muhammad Alheri urged ECOWAS to adopt a uniform approach when dealing with political turmoil in the region.
The video has ignited discussions regarding the intricacies of regional politics, the complexities of cross-border relationships, and the historical connections that shape them. As ECOWAS navigates its response to the Niger crisis, the conversations spurred by this video underscore the importance of considering diverse perspectives in developing a comprehensive and equitable approach.
The ongoing situation has also attracted attention on a broader scale, leading to the African Union’s decision to suspend Niger Republic due to the ongoing crisis. Additionally, Nasir el-Rufai, the former governor of Kaduna State, weighed in on the matter, characterizing it as a potential “war between brothers.”
The video, and the subsequent discourse it has sparked, serve as a reminder of the intricate balance that must be maintained in regional politics and the challenges of crafting an effective and just response in times of political turmoil.
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