The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said the military intervention of Niger Republic is still possible until civilian democratic governance is sustained.
This was revealed by the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who stated this during an interview with Al Jazeera on Tuesday evening.
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The presidential spokesman said ECOWAS is determined to ensure that ousted Niger Republic President, Mohamed Bazoum, is returned to power and democratic rule returns to the West African country.
Ngelale said the additional sanctions imposed on Niger by ECOWAS are proof that the commission is focused on a diplomatic approach before resorting to the use of force as a last option.
According to him, “Let us be clear, there has been a firm ultimatum that was based on a mandate that has been backed by ECOWAS protocols which have been in place for years, and the ECOWAS member heads of state will not back down from upholding the protocols as agreed by all member states.
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“We will be fully committed, as we have been throughout this process, to upholding the ECOWAS protocols with respect to how the ECOWAS member states will handle the illegitimate overthrow of constitutional order in any of the ECOWAS member states.
“We are determined to ensure that civilian democratic governance is sustained on the continent for the prosperity, security, and development of the countries on our beloved continent.
“We are not taking the kind of simplistic approach that some international media have chosen to take, which is that ‘either you must go in or you’re not serious, or you stay out, and you’re not serious,’ we do not accept that simple narrative.
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“What we are saying is that we have multiple levers on which we can leverage to achieve the end that we are seeking to achieve, which is to uphold the ECOWAS protocols by ensuring that there is a return of civilian democratic rule under the leadership of President Bazoum as duly elected by the people of Niger Republic.
“Now, whether that happens today or next week or next month, we will see, but we are determined to leverage all elements of our power regionally to ensure that happens and that it is not limited only to military intervention.
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“Although military intervention has not and will not be taken off the table.”