The military junta in Niger has been asked to ensure that democracy returns to the country, as they are advised to organise elections as quickly as possible in Niger Republic. The advice was given by Dr. Ambrose Igboke, Public Affairs Analyst, while speaking on the recent takeover of government by military coupists in the country in a recent interview on TVC. Speaking on interventions of African organisations after the takeover, Igboke called on ECOWAS and the coupists to have a time line that is agreeable by both sides to meet and start negotiations as to how the issue could be resolved.
Igboke advised ECOWAS to demand that Mohamed Bazoum be released immediately, adding that, that would be a safer way forward so that they can ensure that the former president is safe and removed from harm’s way. He said: “ECOWAS should have negotiated with the coup plotters to ensure that there is a safe passage for the ousted president and his family to have an asylum so that he can have a safe passage out of the country.” The analyst said it was an error on the part of ECOWAS to threaten the coupists in the first instance with military force before engaging in dialogue, more so, as the ousted president is still in the custody of the coupists.
According to Igboke, ECOWAS should have used the carrot before the stick, as he added that what ECOWAS did was to use the threat of the stick before the carrot. He added that the initial threat issues by ECOWAS only emboldened the military junta and made them to begin to talk tough and aggressive, as the coupists were issuing threats left, right and centre. He said tension has doused down now after some interventions and intermediaries, as the junta is ready to talk and ECOWAS is also talking. He said: “It’s a good development on both sides. And the three years’ transition period given by the junta is not acceptable.”
About giving the French ambassador ultimatum to leave, Igboke said: “it’s a little bit too dicey. But first, French government does not recognise the military as the legitimate government in Niger. On the other hand, the coupists are saying they are the legitimate government. “It’s a delicate issue, but I think the best thing for France to do for the safety of its own envoy, is to allow the envoy leave Niger for now, and then try to find a diplomatic solution for it.”