Niger Coup: Orji Kalu Sends Strong Warning To Tinubu
The former governor of Abia State and Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has advised President Bola Tinubu to withdraw Nigeria’s membership from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) instead of allowing the US and France to push him to what he described as unnecessary military action against the junta in the Niger Republic.
Senator Kalu said this on Thursday while reacting to ECOWAS’ declaration of the deployment of a standby force against the junta after the bloc’s emergency summit held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Senator Kalu in an interview he posted on his Facebook page, said the US and France want Nigeria to go to war with the Niger Republic military leaders. He, however, advised President Tinubu to disregard the wish of the Western countries.
According to the former Senate Minority Whip, going to war is not the right course of action for ECOWAS and Nigeria in particular.
He said, “The United States wants us to go to war. France wants us to go to war. Why don’t they put their soldiers and go to war? We will give them the money to fight.
“Let them go to war on their own. We cannot go to war. This war is in our backyard. I plead with the president to listen to the voice of the Senate. The Senate has said no and I’m joining the Senate and I join the majority of Nigerians telling President Tinubu not to go to war for the sake of brotherhood and the sake of Africa.”
Kalu said rather than go to war with the Niger Republic junta, ECOWAS should give the coup plotters a specific time frame to present a definite plan of how and when they will return power to a democratic government.
He said, “I don’t think it is a good idea to go to war. What they should tell the juntas to do now is to give us a democratic transition plan for one year, six months or two years to return to democracy.
“I don’t think any Nigerian soldier’s death is good enough to be killed for another country. It is not our war. It is an internal problem of the Niger people. We have nothing to gain.”
He stressed that if not going to war with the Niger junta will cost Nigeria her membership in ECOWAS, President Tinubu should be ready to withdraw the country’s membership from the bloc.
“Nobody should attempt to take us into war. We cannot go to war with Niger at all. If it means pulling out of ECOWAS, Nigeria should pull out of ECOWAS if that is ECOWAS’s decision. We are a sovereign nation. Nobody can toil with 250 million Nigerians. It is not possible,” he said.