The Ulama Forum in Nigeria has joined Arewa Consultatives Forum, Northern Senators Forum and other strong northern-based pressure groups and powerful individuals in warning President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and ECOWAS against using military force in solving the political crisis in Niger Republic occasioned by the recent Palace Coup.
The group of Islamic clerics have insisted that military action or war in Niger Republic would be counter-productive, forseeing to negative impacts on Nigeria, particularly, Kano, being a commercial and metropolitan centre harboring hundreds of thousands of Niger nationals.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE ULAMA FORUM IN NIGERIA ON THE STATE OF AFFAIRS IN NIGER REPUBLIC
The Ulama Forum in Nigeria held an emergency meeting on Wednesday August 2, 2023 over the current delicate situation in the Niger Republic. The meeting focused on the matters at hand that are potent with risks as to the peaceful neighbourly relationship between Nigeria and Niger as well as the stability of the region as a whole.
The Forum is particularly worried by ECOWAS ultimatum given to the Coupists to restore power to the person they overthrew within one week (which was vehemently rejected by them) or face the wrath of the Union, which presumably include employing violent means against a sovereign member. Having considered the far reaching implications of such an eventuality, the Forum makes the following observations, and advances some suggestions accordingly, in the interest of the governments and peoples of the Sahel region and by extension that of the world order in general.
1. The Military intervention in Niger republic, like those that took place in the Sahel region before it, is sad, most unfortunate, and deserved condemnation by democratic minds and all peace loving people the world over.
2. Notwithstanding the preference which many people have for democracy
and its principles, the choice for the route to good governance is strictly
that of citizens of each country. It is the right of the people of Niger to
fight for the restoration of democracy in their country, if they so wish
and any attempt by anybody, anywhere, other than in Niger, will
tantamount to employing undemocratic means to achieve a democratic
3. The ultimatumn given by ECOWAS to the current leaders of Niger goes counter to democratic protocols and it encroaches on the sovereignty of the country.
4. Given the general and widespread insecurity now bedeviling the Sahel, any international war of the nature that some people are mulling will not only compound the security challenges of the region but will also make governance more difficult as more and more people will be militarized while food insecurity will bite harder.
5. It is certain that the vast majority of people in Nigeria are not, and will not be, in support of war with an erstwhile good neighbour which always looks towards Nigeria as a senior partner. A war between these countries will harm friendship, cause economic hardship, worsen humanitarian crisis, and leave hard-to-heal wounds on each party
6. Worse of all, the putative war will render the region a theatre of war
vulnerable to the exploitation of foreign interests. No, we cannot afford
to fight a proxy war on behalf of resources-hungry world powers whose
interests lie in our continuous subjugation.
7. The leading role of ECOWAS to protect and secure the region from all foreign intrusions would be stretched beyond limits and dispose to divide and rule between the traditional lines of Anglophone and Francophone by those bent on stealing the resources of the region, by illegitimate ways and means.
8. Once the region is destabilized and divided upon itself, the healing process will be a long run one and fraught with vulnerabilities.
In view of the foregoing, the Ulama Forum urgently recommends as follows:
1. Nigerian government, and by extension the ECOWAS, should retract from treading the undemocratic path of issuing threats or employing violence and, instead, take to the more enlightened and more informed diplomatic protocols in assisting Niger Republic to restore its democracy.
2. The Nigerian National Assembly should wake up to its constitutional responsibility of critically looking into this issue and exercising the necessary check on the Executive and prevent Nigeria from going into needless war.
3. Faith based organizations in the country, from across the faiths, should embark on preaching for peace in the region and maintaining the good neigbourliness that has long existed between Nigeria and Niger.
4. The Ulama Forum calls upon the Muslim Ummah to embark on earnest prayers for Allah’s mercy in touching the hearts of our leaders so that they listen to the voice of reason and not to succumb to the influence of subterranean hands.
5. It is vitally important for the Nigerian government to consider its current formative stage and the security threats that are spread all over the nation which are stretching its resources and capabilities than to rush into an avoidable conflict with a neighbour at the behest of global politicking.
6. The Forum commends the latest diplomatic initiative of sending envoys by ECOWAS to engage the military leaders of Niger in a robust and constructive dialogue. This is indeed, the right way to go and it should be explored to the maximum extent.
May God protect us from the schemes of the hidden and open enemies of the
Signed This Day Friday 17th Muharram 1445 AH (4th August 2023)
Aminu Inuwa Muhammad MSW, MFCE
Convener 0803 943 4089
Engr Basheer Adamu Aliyu Secretary 0806 084 4088
LIST OF LEADERS OF THE ULAMA FORUM
Malam Aminu Inuwa Muhammad
Prof. Mansur Ibrahim Sokoto mni
Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar
Dr. Sa’id Ahmad Dukawa
Dr. Abubakar Muhamad Sani B/Kudu
Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu
Prof. Muhammad Babangida Muhammad
Prof. Salisu Shehu
Prof. Ahmad Bello Dogarawa
Mal Ahmad Bello Abu Maimoona
Dr. Muhammad Alhaji Abubakar
Malam Muhammad Lawal Maidoki, Sadaukin Sokoto
Malam Aminu Aliyu Gusau, Modibbon Gusau
Mal Shehu Muhammad Maishanu
Prof Muhammad Amin Al-Amin
Barrister Ibrahim Muhammad Attahir
Dr. Salisu Ismail
Dr. Abubakar Saidu
Engr. Ahmad Y. M. Jumba
Amir Abdullahi Abubakar Lamido
Dr. Ibrahim Adam Omar Disina
Prof. Ahmad Murtala
Prof. Usman M. Shuaibu Zunnurain
Malam Ibrahim Ado-Kurawa
Engr. Basheer Adamu Aliyu