Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer, has asked leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to dialogue with the military junta in the Niger Republic.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
On Tuesday, the leadership of the regional body resolved to impose financial sanctions on the individuals and entities believed to be supporting the military junta in the Francophone country.
On Thursday, the ECOWAS leaders directed the deployment of standby military troops to restore constitutional order in the Niger Republic.
Reacting to the development in a statement on Friday, Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the masses in the landlocked country are suffering from a lack of power supply while the military junta has switched to generators after the country was cut off by Nigeria.
The human rights lawyer said sanctions should be limited to the members of the Nigerien military junta, noting that the masses who were not part of the coup d’etat are the ones bearing the brunt.
He added that ECOWAS leaders should reject “the dangerous invitation of France and her allies to fight a proxy war in the Niger Republic”.
“In addition, economic sanctions were imposed on the Niger Republic. In implementing the economic sanctions, the Bola Tinubu administration has cut electricity supply to the Niger Republic with dire consequences for the civilian population,” the statement reads.
“In other words, the masses have been thrown into darkness even though they were not involved in the planning and execution of the coup d’etat which sacked the democratically elected government.
“In justifying the disruption of electricity supply by the federal government, the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission said that Niger Republic currently owes Nigeria N4.22billion ($5.48m: $/N769.27 exchange rate) for power supply.
“Since Nigeria supplies about 70 percent of the electricity of Niger Republic on the basis of a valid agreement, the masses of that country are bearing the brunt of the policy while the members of the military junta and the political class have since switched to generators.
“Having decided to step back from immediate military action against the Niger Republic due to popular opposition in all the member states of the ECOWAS, the leaders should promote dialogue with the military junta.
“This is in consonance with the resolution of the members of the ECOWAS security committee constituted by the defence chiefs of the member states.
“Therefore, the ECOWAS leaders should reject the dangerous invitation of France and her allies to fight a proxy war in the Niger Republic.”