BrandArena: NLC advises ECOWAS against use of force in Niger

Monday, 14 August 2023

NLC advises ECOWAS against use of force in Niger

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has advised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against using military action to depose Niger Republic's military junta.

"Despite our unimpeachable credentials in the popular struggle against military rule, we would strongly advise against the use of military force to remove the military junta in Niger Republic," stated NLC President Joe Ajaero in a statement signed by him.

He went on to say that the disadvantages definitely exceed the benefits, ranging from endangering the lives of deposed President Bazoum and his family to destabilising the entire region.

He said this includes Northern Nigeria and the loss of many lives in and out of the battlefield.

Ajaero said that equally of significance is the unintended possibility of turning Niger into a fertile territory for proxy wars.

“Even after the war is over, the region must brace itself for raised acts of terrorism or insurgency. This is just as it might signal the end of ECOWAS as we know it today given the scenario of 10 members fighting five,” he said.

The NLC president further expressed concerns that the ECOWAS leadership was attempting to extract the nut for and on behalf of another or others.

While we cannot verify the accuracy of these assertions, ECOWAS must conduct itself in such a way that its citizens and the rest of the world believe it has its own mind. "In addition, we at the Congress have reason to believe that ECOWAS is a victim of double standards or discriminatory policies in part." As it was perceived in certain cases as condoning and even glorifying coups.

“In the extant matter of Niger Republic, we equally do believe that ECOWAS did not exhaust the process of dialogue before beating war drums. The missions to Niamey were seen as an afterthought,” he said.

Ajaero stated that one of the implications of weaponizing Niger Republic's electrical supply was the entitlement to proportionate responsibility. He also went through Niger Republic, damming the Niger River, which had unthinkable consequences for our echo system.

"Above all, the time has come for us to consider whether we have the economic strength to pursue this war."

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