-By Austen Akhagbeme:
Until very recently, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the new strong man of Niger Republic, was the head of the Presidential guard. He was a very dependable ally of the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
His over ten years of experience as a chief guardsman in the corridors of power must have exposed him to the frailty and fragility of the presidency and its occupants. So he could choose to lock the doors against the landlord and his household without much ado or resistance. And he did just that albeit successfully on July 26 2023.
His puerile boastfulness, daring ECOWAS and threatening a showdown with a rag-tag army that is wholly dependent on the support of his rogue peers within the coup d’etat belt and their newfound imperialist godfathers, typifies the folly and delusion embedded in the minds of the African ruling elite be they civilians or Soldiers.
The knee-jerk response to the coup by ECOWAS and its leaders is equally being perceived as a tacit ploy to join in the killing of a proverbial rampaging beast in the neighbourhood before it gets to one’s own home.
Therefore, dragging the entire region into an avoidable crisis all in the name of restoring democracy to a nation with a long history of political instability is uncalled for.
A military solution to the Nigerien crisis can snowball into a major and endless war teleguided and masterminded by two imperialistic “onlookers” to the watchful pleasure of ignorant citizens who will be the ultimate victims after all.
President Tinubu, the leader of ECOWAS, must be careful not to endanger the lives of over 200 million Nigerians in search of peace in a nation of 20 million people.
Foreign policy decisions are more often than not, a product of an envisaged economic advantage. This decision to throw a punch at the Nigerien putschists is borne out of egotistical consideration or self-preservation. Let us leave Niger and their newfound friends alone.
- Austen Akhagbeme is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online