IN a twist of fate, Senators from the Northern geopolitical region have opposed moves by President Bola Tinubu to drag Nigeria into a military confrontation with the Republic of Niger.
The Senators said every political and diplomatic option must be explored before any plan to deploy the military.
In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja Friday and sighed by Suleiman Lawu, spokesperson of the Northern Senators Forum, the group called on members of the National Assembly to discountenance Tinubu’s request for a military option.
The statement reads: “We, the Northern Senators Caucus of the 10th Senate under the leadership of Sen. Abdul Ahmad Ningi, note with concern and condemn in its entirety the unfortunate development in Niger Republic, where the military forcefully upstaged a democratically elected government of President Mohammed Bazoum.
“The Northern Senators also take cognizance of the efforts of the ECOWAS leaders under the chairmanship of our Dear President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in resolving the situation in Niger Republic. The emphasis, however, should be focused on political and diplomatic means to restore democratic government in Niger Republic.
“We also take exception to the use of military force until other avenues, as mentioned above, are exhausted, as the consequences will be casualties among the innocent citizens who go about their daily business. Besides, about seven northern states which share borders with Niger Republic, namely Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno, will be negatively affected.
“We are also aware of the situation of Mali, Burkina Faso and Libya, which may affect the seven Northern states if military force is used.
There is serious implication for our country if military force is used without exhausting all the diplomatic channels.
As democrats and representatives of the people, we are hereby urging our colleagues to observe due diligence in invoking section 5 sub-section (4) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended.”