Analysis: 3 Reasons the Coup in Niger is Problematic for Nigeria

Aug 5, 2023 | Uncategorized


  • West African leaders, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria, have drawn up a plan for military action if Niger’s coup is not overturned by Sunday, August 6, 2023
  • While in his 40s, Tinubu experienced the cruelty of a military regime, forcing him to flee abroad and seek refuge there for years
  • Following the Niger coup, he issued a statement and vowed to protect West Africa’s “hard-earned democracy”

Niamey, Niger Republic – On Wednesday, July 26, some top military officers in Niger Republic overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum.

Subsequently, General Abdourahmane “Omar” Tchiani emerged as the country’s new leader.

Niger news/Niger and Nigeria
Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu is plotting a regional military intervention in neighbouring Niger. Photo credits: ORTN – Télé Sahel / AFP, Kola Sulaimon, Photo by ORTN / Tele Sahel
Source: Getty Images

Coup in Niger awkward for Nigeria, West Africa, the African continent

From hiding (or captivity), deposed Bazoum in a Washington Post op-ed said that the junta’s power grab could have “devastating consequences” for the African region.

Read also

Coup d’état: Northern senators reject Tinubu’s onslaught against Niger military junta

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Quite a number of Nigerians have become bothered about the sudden and stern concerns of the federal government over the coup.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), led by Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian leader, is meting sanctions on the putschists.

Electricity supply to Niger Republic has already been cut off by Nigeria as part of the sanctions.

Below are some reasons why the coup in Niger is problematic for Nigeria, and perhaps why President Tinubu is direly determined to reverse it.

Democratic backsliding: The fear of more coups in Africa

Niger is the latest country in the Sahel to experience a military coup. Japheth Joshua Omojuwa, a notable Nigerian public affairs commentator, said the continent ignored the red flags —which is proving costly.

He stated:

“There is a coup d’etat domino currently at play in Africa. This was how it started in the 60s before it became the norm.

Read also

Coup d’état: LP chieftain, Doyin Okupe backs Tinubu-led ECOWAS military invasion of Niger, gives reason

“Let every state take heed, no one is safe from the manipulations of forces behind these coups. They already have civilian supporters everywhere.”

Since Mali’s armed takeover in August 2020, several neighbouring countries have seen a similar pattern emerge: Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, and Sudan.

Last year (2022), failed coup attempts were recorded in Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, and Sao Tome and Principe.

Nigeria had a reputation for military coups following independence with eight between January 1966 and the takeover by General Sani Abacha in 1993. However, since 1999, it has had a stable democracy.

Interestingly, President Tinubu talked about shoring up the democracy of West Africa when he met with Bazoum and the presidents of Benin (Patrice Talon) and Guinea Bissau (Umaro Sissoco Embaló) a week before the Niger coup happened.

He said:

“We’re committed to tackling West African security concerns head-on with a new, measurable approach, while simultaneously strengthening democracy.”

Read also

Niger Republic breaks off ties with Nigeria, details emerge

Reno Omokri, an author and social media influencer, is very impressed by the Nigerian government’s steps thus far.

He wrote:

“For the first time, ECOWAS is asserting itself to defend democracy. And Nigeria is leading that defence. Shutting down power to Niger, establishing and enforcing a No-Fly-Zone. Cutting aid and shutting land borders. Very commendable.”

Coup opens a new chapter in the struggle for interest in the Sahel region

The coup opens a new chapter in the struggle for interest in the region as the new leaders in Niger could align with anti-western interests as has been the case in Burkina Faso and Mali.

This could compel Western allies and other development partners to withdraw their support from Niger, a situation likely to complicate the peace, welfare, and stability of citizens. Hence, developmental assistance are hindered.

West Africa craves peace

There is currently a regional effort towards peace and prosperity in West Africa, and just as Léonardo Santos Simão, a UN envoy said on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, the people deserve peace.

Read also

Breaking: ECOWAS delegation speaks on possible military action in Niger

His words while speaking in Accra, Ghana:

“The unfolding crisis, if not addressed, will exacerbate the deteriorating security situation in the region. It will also negatively impact the development and lives of the population in a country where 4.3 million people need humanitarian assistance.”

He stressed that “Niger and the region do not need coups d’état as populations deserve to enjoy peace, democratic governance, and prosperity.”

Niger Republic breaks off ties with Nigeria

Meanwhile, in a piece of related news, Legit.ng reported that the junta in Niger Republic decided to cut off ties with Nigeria after the efforts of ECOWAS to resolve the ongoing impasse failed.

The delegation led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) only met with representatives of the junta on Thursday, August 3.

Source: Legit.ng





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