DHQ clears air on Nigerian soldiers going to war in Niger Republic

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has insisted that the Armed Forces of Nigeria cannot embark on any operation in any ECOWAS member state, without approval from the Authority of Heads of State and Government.

It noted that a military option in the crisis caused by the coup d’etat in Niger Republic that ousted President Mohammed Bazoum would be the last resort.

A statement signed by the Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Tukur Gusau, on Thursday, explained that the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government were exploring other options.

“The attention of the Armed Forces of Nigeria has been drawn to an online report stating that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) is assembling its forces for military action in the Republic of Niger.

“The AFN is yet to receive any order from the appropriate authority to commence military action, against the military junta in Niger,” the statement read in part.

It added: “Military option was the last option to be taken in case every other option fails to reverse the situation and return the Government of Republic of Niger to constitutional order.”

The political tension began July 28, after the head of Niger’s presidential guard, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, overthrew Bazoum and declared himself head of state.

ECOWAS, under the new leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria, has vowed to go hard on the coup plotters and has slammed heavy sanctions on Niger.

However, Guinea, Mali and Burkina Faso have now taken sides with the Niger military junta, warning against any military action.