Niger Republic: Sultan of Sokoto, leading Islamic group in Nigeria warn against military action

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu

One of the most formidable Muslim organisations in Nigeria, Jama’atu Nasril Islam has warned against the use of force in Niger Republic by Nigeria.

The group, established in 1962 is led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Saadu Abubakar.

The Sultan was one of the envoys sent by Nigeria to intervene in the Niger quagmire.

The JNI statement underscores the religious and ethnic context of Nigerian complex geo politics.

There is a traditional alliance between Sunni Muslims in Nigeri and the Sahel including Niger which predated the neo colonial states.

The JNI also warned authorities of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS against any military action in Niger.

“We firmly note the relevance of upholding democratic principles and the rule of law to fostering the stability, development and steady progress within nations” the group said.

The JN1 in the statement issued on Saturday and made available to Irohinoodua said the umbrella Muslim body is against any use of force in Niger.

The statement signed by JNI Secretary General, Prof Khalid Aliyu was issued in Kaduna, the political capital of the North.

The group condemned the military coup in Niger Republic that ousted President Mohamed Bozoum bur cautioned against the use of force to return order.

“Without a doubt, these are the cornerstones for good governance because democratic principles and the rule of law prevent arbitrary use of force and power and ensure consistency with international human rights, norms and standards,“ Aliyu said.

The group supports dialogue in place of force.

“While this attempt may not have yielded the desired results, it demonstrates Nigeria’s commitment to peaceful resolutions.“We acknowledge that dialogue is an invaluable tool in preventing further bloodshed and instability within the Sahel Region, which has many political and security uncertainties.

“Nevertheless, we wish to raise a word of caution against pursuing military action as a means to restore democracy,” he said.

JNI said there is historical ties between Nigeria and Niger and that any effort by the government to interface in the current situation in Niger should take into consideration the consequences on the historic brotherly relationship between the two countries.

“We believe strongly that dialogue, cooperation and negotiation are the most effective means to establish lasting peace and stability in the region,” he said.

He called for constructive negotiation and not the use of force.

“Let us pray together for the restoration of peace and order, the protection of human rights and the wellbeing of the people of Nigeria and Niger Republic.

“JNI reiterated its commitment to promoting unity, understanding, and cooperation among all Muslim communities.

“We stand united against any form of injustice, oppression, and violence and advocate for a peaceful and harmonious world.”

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