By Seun Akioye, Contributing Editor
In these bullet points, Contributing Editor, Seun Akioye highlights arguments for and against the war in Niger after speaking to journalists and the academia.
The case for invasion of Niger Republic by Nigeria
1. The coup in Niger didn’t happen in isolation but followed a pattern right through the Sahel, to Mali, Burkina Faso etc
2. That it is clear Russia is behind all these looking for a foothold in Africa (to oppose the West).
3. It is not clear when Russia stepped in through the machinery group Wagner, but it is the only country that has supported the coup.
4. Russia usually exploits the discontent of the local populace to arm insurgent groups or angry soldiers to take over.
5. That Frances’ stranglehold on francophone Africa must end but you cannot trade one overlord for another (Russia).
6. That this is a litmus test for President Tinubu as Niger borders Nigeria and the consequences of Russia there is not good for Nigeria.
7. Nigeria must fight now when Russia has not had a foothold in Niger and win easily or wait until it is more difficult to win but either way, Nigeria must fight at some point.
8. With Russia in Niger, Nigeria would be too plump a price to overlook, it will fan discord in-country – what with the separatists groups, bandits etc arm them and embolden an insurrection.
9. Nigeria must go to war now to protect itself from Russia.
The case against invasion of Niger Republic
1. All these are still in the realms of speculation just higher than beer parlour analysis. We saw this in Iraq invasion, Afghanistan and Libya. Nigerians maintained that needless war must be the very last resort.
2.No, Niger must not and cannot be handed over to Russia, the people of that country must be able to determine their own fate, good or bad.
3. We postulate as if the people of Niger are dumb and foolish to not know what they want.
4. Most Nigerians are against military intervention in democracy and also against armed invasion by Nigeria.
5. Nigeria must put her house in order to avoid falling into the hands of Russia if the above comes true.
6. The case for war isn’t strong enough, what happens to sanctions afterall that’s what the WEST will do first. Nobody eats war, I have seen men die, seen soldiers die, see. Been to war and it is not pretty.
7. Why are we going to war? Is it because Nigeria has seen a strategic opportunity it wants to explore like the West and Russia or because the West is giving the ultimatum to President Tinubu in order to buy their support for his administration?
8. If Nigeria has what it will explore like Uranium, then we have a motivation for invasion.
9. Don’t be fooled that Niger has only 12,000 troops, we may send them out of Niamey, but they own the country and may engage in protracted guerilla war and we have a Charles Taylor or Chairman Mao in our hands.
10. Will Nigeria permanent troops in Niger after the ouster?
11. What exactly is our foreign policy?