John Doe
Wed, Aug 9, 2023 11:20 PM

SMBLF Urges President Bola Tinubu to Tackle Niger Crisis Peacefully and Urgently

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SMBLF Urges President Bola Tinubu to Tackle Niger Crisis Peacefully and Urgently
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has called on President Bola Tinubu to address the crisis in Niger peacefully and urgently. The group expressed concern over the recent military coup in Niger and emphasized the need to restore democracy in the neighboring country. While acknowledging Tinubu's role as the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, SMBLF urged him to prioritize Nigeria's peace and security while dealing with the crisis in Niger. The forum discouraged the use of military means to resolve the situation and instead emphasized the importance of negotiations and political interventions.

Lagos - The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has issued a statement urging President Bola Tinubu to take swift and peaceful action in addressing the crisis unfolding in Niger. The group, composed of leaders from various socio-cultural groups in Nigeria, expressed deep concern over the recent military coup in Niger and emphasized the importance of restoring democracy in the neighboring country.

In their press statement, the SMBLF leaders remarked that the coup in Niger represented a breach of national constitutions and could potentially destabilize the region. They highlighted the significance of Niger's proximity to Nigeria and the historical ties between the two countries, particularly in border communities.

President Bola Tinubu's role as the current Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State places a significant burden on him to resolve the crisis peacefully and restore democratic governance in Niger. The SMBLF leaders acknowledged Tinubu's efforts in engaging in negotiations and political contacts, utilizing esteemed individuals like former Head of State Abdulsalami Abubakar and the Sultan of Sokoto.

However, the forum cautioned against military intervention in resolving the crisis, emphasizing the potential resistance such actions could face from both within Niger and Nigeria. They noted the intertwined traditional and cultural ties between Nigerian and Nigerien communities in the border areas, stressing the risks of escalating insecurity, disruption of normal lives, and an influx of refugees if a military approach were chosen.

The SMBLF leaders also drew attention to the local perception of the military government in Niger as liberators due to widespread poverty and hunger in the country. They warned that ECOWAS intervention, though well-intentioned, might be met with significant resistance across Niger.

The forum called for a concerted effort to restore democracy urgently in Niger, urging President Tinubu to prioritize the peace and security of Nigeria while engaging in external matters. They recommended expediting negotiations and political contact by involving additional sources within Nigeria and neighboring countries.

It is crucial to take collective action to avert further instability in the region and ensure that democracy is upheld in Niger. The SMBLF leaders underscored the need for international figures and influential Nigerian personalities to intervene in resolving this crisis. They emphasized the importance of peaceful means and diplomatic resolutions over military aggression.

While President Bola Tinubu's role within ECOWAS provides an opportunity for Nigeria to demonstrate its commitment to regional stability and democratic values, the SMBLF leaders stressed that Nigeria should exercise caution not to become embroiled in the Niger crisis to the detriment of its own peace and security.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-09 News

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