Prof. Jonah Onuoha, has advised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against the use of military force in resolving the coup in Niger Republic.
Onuoha, a former Head of the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), advised that diplomacy should be applied first.
He gave the advice in Nsukka on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while speaking on the recent coup in Niger that ousted the democratic elected President, Mohamed Bazoun.
He said ECOWAS should use diplomacy by negotiating with the military junta in which they would assure them of their safety if democracy was restored in the country.
“Using military force first will escalate the problem in Niger, as those behind the coup will resist it with the last drop of their blood since they know they may face death sentence if overpowered.
“But if ECOWAS would sit in a round table with the leaders of the coup, talk to them and appeal to their conscience so they see reason to restore democracy, it will be better.
“ECOWAS should also assure them that no harm will come upon any of them involved in the coup if they comply and restore democratic government in the country,” he said.
The don added that, it should only be when all avenues on diplomacy fails that ECOWAS should resort to the use of military force from West African countries to remove the military power usurpers in that country.
“If every avenue to use diplomacy fails, then the use of military force as a last resort can be justified.
He,however, said that in using force in Niger, all the ECOWAS countries must contribute their military, adding that it should not be left to Nigeria alone because President Bola Tinubu is the chairman of the ECOWAS,” he said.
Onuoha, who is also the director of American Studies at the UNN, alleged that military take over in some African countries might be an indication that some democratically elected leaders were no longer living up to expectations of their citizens.
“The elected leaders in Africa should sit-up and do more to earn the trust and confidence of their people.
“African Presidents should ensure the welfare of their citizens as well as the security of lives and property are guaranteed, to avoid offering the military excuse to hijack the government,” he said (NAN)