BY KAYODE FAUSA
The Founder of One Love Family and ascetic cleric, Satguru Maharaj Ji, says he smells a rat in the resolve by the Economic Community of West African Countries-headed by Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, to engage the Niger Republic’s military rulers in warfare.
Military coup plotters had last month overthrown President Mohamed Bazoum and have since then taken over the rulership of Niger, irking the ECOWAS, which insists, through President Tinubu, that the democratically elected President be restored.
But the junta, led by ‘General’ Abdourahmane Tchiani, a 63-year-old, have since stuck to their gun, and have allegedly contacted Russia for military support.
But reacting, septuagenarian Maharaj Ji opposed military action on the grounds that it would serve the Western powers opportunity to polarise Africa, re-exploit its resources, and disorganise the continent.
He also cited the general insecurity in the Sahel and the need to honour the sovereignty of Niger Republic, as other reasons Nigeria should not spearhead any warfare for now.
In a statement issued in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Maharaj Ji warned against the proposed war, which he described as “proxy war on behalf of resources-hungry powers whose interests lie in continuous subjugation of the African continent.”
The statement reads:
“One Love Family 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 includes employing violent means against a sovereign member. Having considered the far-reaching implications of such an eventuality, we make the following observations, and advance 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.
“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 be tantamount to employing undemocratic means to achieve a democratic end.
“The ultimatum given by ECOWAS to the current leaders of Niger goes counter to democratic protocols and it encroaches on the sovereignty of the country.
“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.
“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.
“We are not yet free from the pain, agony and despair of the Biafran war that ended in 1970.
“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.
“We feel strongly that the coup and planned attack on Niger is an indirect attempt to destabilise the region and is a strong manipulation by the Aristocrats in the West who declare war on Nigeria through Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida in 1993, repeated same before, during and after 2015 elections and failed in order to prevent the unity and oneness of the highest concentration of the blacks which they see as a threat.
“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.
“International community is an aspirational phrase that hides the reality that world politics plays out in an “anarchical society” (apologies to the late Oxford University international relations scholar Hedley Bull) of nation-states each advancing its strategic interests via international cooperation in multilateral organisations.
“It is often the dining table at which African countries get eaten for lunch by the great and medium powers. If we had done the right things, Nigeria should have become a certified medium power like Turkey, Brazil or South Korea by now. A big population of 200 million mostly poor and long-misgoverned people is not the equivalent of a real “demographic power”.
“Altering this reality for the better is our
number one priority. We must not become a pawn in a global power game that carries the risk of a further destabilisation of our already troubled country.
“We are supremely blessed.
My Love and Blessings.”