Nigerian Senate did not reject West African bloc's request for troops to fight Niger's junta: Senator
'Senate did not reject the ECOWAS resolution. President Tinubu merely communicated to us the bloc's decision to use diplomacy, citing the use of force as a last resort,' says Adaramodu
The Nigerian Senate on Monday rejected media reports that the upper house had rejected President Bola Ahmed Tinubu's request for army deployment under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to remove the coup leader in the western neighboring country of Niger.
The president, who is also the chairman of ECOWAS, just sent what he called a “letter of information” to the Senate on Saturday about the bloc's resolution, Senator and upper house spokesman Yemi Adaramodu told Anadolu Agency.
"The Senate did not reject the ECOWAS resolution. President Tinubu merely communicated to us the bloc's decision to use diplomacy, citing the use of force as a last resort. It was never a request," he said categorically, rejecting media reports that the Nigerian Senate had rejected the president's request.
He said the president's letter was received and discussed in an executive session in the Senate Chamber on Saturday.
Explaining the country's constitutional procedure for deploying military troops to special operations outside of Nigeria, he said the president needed to write a formal letter to the National Assembly first.
"But this is not the case yet. We only have information. All we got was a reportorial letter," he explained.
President Tinubu, in a letter to the Senate titled "Request for Support in the Implementation of ECOWAS Resolutions on the Political Situation in Niger Republic," detailed the West African bloc's intention to use force to remove the coup leader in Niger and reinstate ousted President Mohammed Bazoum.
VinMartin Ilo, a geopolitical expert, urged ECOWAS to pursue diplomacy and collaboration before going to war in Niger.
He also advised President Tinubu not to intervene in the neighboring country in order to spark a war with Niger.
"Our president should not portray this as a conflict between Nigeria and Niger. We recognize that Nigeria is a regional leader, but most Nigerians believe our president is dragging us into a war with Niger," he told Anadolu.
Both Nigeria and Niger also have troops in the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), a regional military cooperation against terrorism in Lake Chad, with headquarters in Ndjamena, Chad's capital.