The ECOWAS Parliament was on Saturday divided over taking military action as an option aimed at tackling the political situation in Niger Republic and restoring civil rule there.
Some members made called for actions that would nip in the bud military incursion into politics within the region, while others identified diplomacy and dialogue as the best approaches to tackling the crisis.
No fewer than 22 parliamentarians participated in the virtual extraordinary meeting to discuss the political crisis in Niger.
Some members who were against military intervention highlighted the economic woes that the people of Niger could experience if invaded.
Ali Djibo, from Niger Republic said already at least 9,000 schools had been closed down owing to the crisis.
“War will only compound the economic woes the peoples of the sub-region are already going through.
“As we speak, over a thousand trucks, loaded with goods, are stranded at the border.
“If a coup happened in Nigeria or Cote’d’Iviore tomorrow, where’s the ECOWAS going to mobilise troops to fight the Nigerian or Ivorian military? How many borders are we going to close?
“We must also bear in mind that if we’re applying the ECOWAS treaty, it should be applicable to all.”
Awaji-Inombek Dagomie Abiante (Rivers), ECOWAS must pay keen attention and treat the root causes of coups in ECOWAS countries
Members of the ECOWAS Parliament making a case for military intervention in Niger said diplomacy had contributed in no small measure to the increase in the spate of military takeover of government in the West African sub-region.
Contributing, Adebayo Balogun, posited that ECOWAS leaders were proposing military action to remove the junta. not clamouring for a fully-fledged war.
He recalled that Niger was a signatory to ECOWAS’ revised protocol on non-military intervention.
Also, Bashir Dawodu expressed the belief that the body should open itself up to the possibility of a military option and apply pressure on the putschists while exploring dialogue. (NAN)