It is no longer news that members of the Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, the Senate have rejected a request by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to deploy Nigerian troops in Neighbouring Niger to reinstate deposed former President Mohamed Bazoum.
IgbereTV had reported that President Bazoum was deposed on 26 July in a coup led by his presidential guards.
President Bola Tinubu on Thursday sent a letter to the Senate requesting for permission to deploy Nigerian troops to Niger Republic as part of an ECOWAS force to reinstate the democratically elected president of the country.
ECOWAS leaders at a meeting in Abuja four days later gave the coup leaders a seven-day ultimatum to restore constitutional order or face the possible use of force. The regional body imposed sanctions on the coup leaders with Nigeria also cutting electricity supplies and closing its borders with the poor West African nation.
Following the refusal of the coup leaders to backtrack, West African defence chiefs said they had drawn a plan for military action as part of which President Tinubu wrote the Senate for permission to involve Nigerian troops in the action.
However, at an executive session on Saturday, the senators rejected the request by the president.
Speaker against the request, Senator representing Abia south Senatorial Zone, Enyinnaya Abaribe said the president cannot Declare a state of war without the approval of a joint session of both chambers of the National Assembly.
According to a senator who attended the meeting, senators agreed to pass a resolution condemning the coup and to commend ECOWAS leaders on their efforts to restore constitutional order in Niger, but they ruled out military options.
“Almost all the senators spoke and totally ruled out the military options because of many factors and also because of the harmonious relationship that Nigeria and Niger have always enjoyed.
“Senators instead urged President Tinubu to intensify negotiation with the coup leaders by again sending a high-powered delegation to Niamey. Someone suggested that elderstatemen like Obasanjo, Gen Ali Gusau and Abdulsalam Abubakar should be sent as special envoys to dialogue and seek a diplomatic solution.
“Senators opposed to military action pointed out that our military is highly ill-equipped and not prepared to fight any war.They said that we have fragile peace in Nigeria and that Niger is the highest arms market in Africa.
“Senators believe that the Federal Government should focus on solving the Boko Haram, banditry and ESN/IPOB menaces ravaging the country instead of contemplating going to war in a foreign country. ”
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