President Bola Tinubu on Thursday said all diplomatic options would be exhausted with the military junta in Niger Republic before any last resort of military intervention would come into the picture, insisting that any forceful removal of a democratic government remained “wholly unacceptable,” a statement by the State House said.
Receiving the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar III, at the State House, President Tinubu noted that the alternative of kinetic intervention in Niger Republic had not been jettisoned.
“I must thank you for your several visits to Niger Republic, Your Eminence, but you will still have to go back. My fear has been confirmed in Gabon that copycats will start doing the same thing until it is stopped. We are neighbours with Niger Republic, and what has joined Nigerians together with their great people cannot be broken. Nobody is interested in a war. We have seen the devastation in Ukraine and Sudan. But, if we don’t wield the big stick, we will all suffer the consequences together,” the President warned.
President Tinubu noted that Nigeria, under General Abdulsalami Abubakar, instituted a nine-month transition programme in 1998, and it proved very successful, leading the country into a new era of democratic governance.
The President said he saw no reason why such could not be replicated in Niger, if their military authorities were sincere.
On the hardship faced by many Nigerians post-fuel subsidy removal, the President assured that all ongoing reforms would liberate and reposition the economy, which would benefit the majority of the population in terms of opportunities, infrastructure, healthcare and education.
The President told the delegation that the Federal Government had opened talks with the state governments to provide land for the proper sustenance of animals with a view to developing pan-national animal husbandry and agro-allied production and processing facilities for mass export, job creation and revenue generation.