General Christopher Gwabim Musa, the Chairman of the committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff of ECOWAS countries, stated on Friday that the Chiefs of Defence Staff within the regional bloc have devised a cohesive military response and specific measures to be taken against the coupists in Niger, pending approval from the heads of states.
During the conclusion of the two-day deliberation focused on outlining military strategies to restore democratic governance in Niger, General Musa, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, revealed that the military chiefs unanimously support ECOWAS’ unwavering commitment to democracy.
the CDS said, “We thank ECOWAS for standing steadfast for democracy. That is what we (the committee of chiefs of Defence Staff) stand for.
“We achieved so much from our deliberation and we urged those who have erred to come back home. Se will continue to build on our cooperation until we achieve all-round peace in our sub region.
Declaring that coups have highlighted the fragility of our subregion, Gen Musa said, “We must intensify our diplomatic process. ECOWAS will not be used for coups. Democracy is what we stand for. We deliberated and arrived at well-coordinated response. We will make our viable, insightful and actionable recommendations known to the authorities of the heads of states.
In his remarks, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Security, Peace and Political Affairs, Amb. Abdel Fatau Musah said the Chiefs of Defence Staff have come up “with a concept of operation for an eventual military intervention to restore democracy in Niger which will be sent to the heads of state”.
“All the elements have been worked out including how and when we are going to deploy. We are guided by our protocols including zero tolerance for coups. And if the coups are not stopped today, nobody knows when it is going to end”
“There is a steeler determination by ECOWAS leaders with President Bola Tinubu as Chairman to ensure that we do not have any democratic reversals in our region. We are determined to stop it.
“ECOWAS is not going to tell the coup plotters when we are going to strike. That will be left to the authorities of the heads of state. But war is not an option of choice. It is a last resort. So we are giving them every opportunity to reverse and restore democracy. With the steely determination of ECOWAS heads of state, we will make them hand over to civilian administration”.
In addition, Dr. Ibrahim Abubakar Kana, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, praised the Chiefs of Defence Staff from ECOWAS countries for responding to the call to protect democracy in the subregion. He emphasized that Nigeria, with President Bola Tinubu’s strong commitment, is dedicated to the restoration of peace and democracy in Niger.
“Though military intervention is the last option, we are waiting for the call from the authority of heads of state to move out the armed forces by land, sea and air. Once the order comes we will move”.
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