Niger Coup: Bode George writes Tinubu over Military invasion - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Friday, August 4, 2023

Niger Coup: Bode George writes Tinubu over Military invasion


A former Deputy National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olubode George has written an open letter to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the planned military invasion of Niger Republic following the coup that took place in the country last Thursday, July 26, 2023.

Bode George, a retired  Nigerian Military General in a letter dated Friday, August 4 urged President Tinubu to threaten General Abdourahamane Tchiani, Commander of the Presidential Guard of Niger Republic by issuing an ultimatum categorically stating that Bozoum must be reinstated.

He, however, posited that if they didn’t yield to his threat, a large military force (similar to ECOMOG in Liberia and Sierra Leone) should invade the Niger Republic and forcefully reinstate him.

George lauded President Tinubu for sending a delegation to Niger that included former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) and Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Saad Abubakar, a retired Brigadier-General, noting that diplomacy is far better than conflict.

The letter reads, “I write to you as a Nigerian, a retired Nigerian military general, a patriot, and a war tactician.

On July 26, 2023, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, Commander of the Presidential Guard of Niger Republic, deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, took power and is now the new strongman of the Nigerien Armed Forces.

“As the leader of ECOWAS, you promptly called other West African leaders, and you issued an ultimatum to Tchiani, stating that Bazoum must be reinstated or else a large military force (similar to ECOMOG in Liberia and Sierra Leone) will invade the Niger Republic and forcefully reinstate him.

“Niger Republic has a population of 27,294,785 people, the same as Lagos State. Niamey is the capital, and the population is 1,437,000 (not up to Alimosho Council in Lagos), and as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, you may have been told that even a Brigade of the Nigerian Army, commanded by a Colonel, can crush the soldiers in Niger Republic since you were sworn in on May 29, 2023.

“First and first, you did the right thing by sending a group to Niger that included former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) and Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Saad Abubakar, a retired Brigadier-General.
It is acceptable to send a delegation. Diplomacy is always preferable to conflict. Jaw-jaw is preferable to war-war.

“However, I feel it would have been preferable if that delegation reflected the broad Nigerian spectrum.

Some serving or retired diplomats should have been included in the delegation. Diplomats are well-prepared for situations like this. What is going on in Niger right now isn’t only for the military.

Second, when there is an internal issue, you address it first before going global with a ‘Big Brother’ stance.

In your most recent national broadcast, you even recognised that Nigerians are hurting and that everything is being done to alleviate their pain.

Today, Nigeria has no food, no financial means to purchase fuel, no light, and no money. Nigerians are psychologically trapped, and people are suffering greatly. So I’m not sure what going to the Niger Republic with full military force will accomplish.

“Remember that when our economy was stronger, Nigeria almost entirely funded ECOMOG military operations. Which economy would we utilise to fund a major military effort in the Niger Republic now that Mali and Burkina Faso have threatened to side with the Niger Republic?

“Will this not result in the demise of ECOWAS? Do we really understand the type of partisan game that Western powers, on the one hand, Russia and China, on the other, and some other African countries, are playing behind the scenes? Can we truly believe any of them? Shouldn’t Nigeria’s interests come first before making any choice of this magnitude, which could result in the loss of life and the damage of property?

“I noticed a video today of some Nigerians supporting Tchiani and abusing you while on a road tour. That was certainly orchestrated by the coupists, but do we really need such a distraction now when everything is being done to ensure that Nigeria’s economy advances to the next level?

“Do we know about Russian participation in Niger because of Uranium?

“In Nigeria, the electoral process has yet to be completed, and the palliatives you promised as a result of the withdrawal of fuel subsidy payments are still in the air, so why do we want to send our soldiers into an unnecessary war?

“Nigeria paid for practically everything in ECOMOG. But the economy was different back then than it is now.

We are all aware that Nigerians are fighting the French, either directly or indirectly, as a result of the Assimilation Policy that has afflicted Francophone-speaking countries, as opposed to what we have in English-speaking countries such as Nigeria.

“We should reconsider entering another country militarily. Don’t start anything you can’t finish.

“Niger is one of the world’s largest (land border) countries, as well as one of the poorest. What do we stand to gain if we go to war in Niger? What? So that people can hail us as champions of democracy? Do we really need that kind of praise while folks are dying at home?

“I retired as a General. So I understand that war is not simple. Please do not compel Nigerians to participate in

Despite its mineral wealth, Niger Republic has been held back for decades by its leadership. More than 75% of Nigerians are impoverished and illiterate. If they don’t want Tchiani, they will get rid of him when the time comes.

“Allow Nigeriens to deal with their rot while we concentrate on how to improve our own condition at home.

You are probably aware that seven Northern states – Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno – share a 1,608-kilometer border with five provinces of the Niger Republic. Residents of these states will be direct targets of gunfire and missiles in the event of a war.

“This may also result in a rise in criminal activity in border areas. In addition, Algeria, Libya, Chad, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Mali have borders with the Niger Republic. Can we rely on these countries to provide us with military and other help if we go to war with the Niger Republic?

“All of this begs the question, “Why did we finance a rail line to Maradi during President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration?”

“Over a year ago, Russia invaded Ukraine. Thousands of people, both troops and civilians, have been murdered, and billions of dollars in property have been destroyed, with no end in sight.

“In International Relations and Politics, you always put your country’s interests first. Burkina Faso and Mali have openly stated that they will support Niger.

“Can we also trust Chad, which has been ruled by the military since April 2021? Are we certain that this invasion of the Niger Republic will not have an impact on ECOWAS?

“Is this the appropriate moment to spend money Nigeria does not have to fight in another country.

“We are still in a quagmire, politically, economically, and socially. Then you should add the fourth: warfare.

“Anyone who has served in the military will tell you that war is not easy. We must exercise caution.

“Thank goodness you’ve started the diplomatic process.

“Allow the envoys to continue the diplomatic dialogue in Niger.

“War isn’t like a tea party.


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