Defence Headquarters Say Military Yet To Recieve Order To Commence Operations In Niger

The Defence Headquarters has said the military is yet to get directives to commence operations in the Niger Republic.

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The clarification was in reaction to news reports yesterday that the military had begun assembling troops for the military action in Niger.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) issued a seven-day ultimatum to the military junta in Niger Republic to hand over power to the democratically elected government of Mohamed Bazoum.

President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, had during the extraordinary session presided over by its Chairman, President Bola Tinubu in Abuja last Sunday, disclosed that all Chiefs of Defence Staff of the member states would proceed for an emergency meeting to strategise on effective ways to implement a possible military operation to restore Bazoum to office.

Also, ECOWAS leaders enforced a no-flight zone over the country as part of sanctions against the restive West African country.

But, in a statement on Thursday, the Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Tukur Gusau said the Defence Chiefs in the region were still meeting in Abuja and would submit their plans to the Head of Governments and States for approval.

General Gusau noted that without their approval, the military cannot commence operations in Niger.

The statement read, “The attention of the Armed Forces of Nigeria has been drawn to an online report stating that the Armed Forces of Nigeria 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 military option was the last option to be taken in case every other option fails to reverse the situation and return the Government of the Republic of Niger to constitutional order.

“At the moment, the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff is currently holding an extraordinary meeting in Abuja to discuss the political situation in the Republic of Niger and submit their plans to the committee of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for consideration.

“In conclusion, the Armed Forces of Nigeria cannot proceed with any operation in any of the member states of ECOWAS without a mandate from the Authority of the Heads of States and Governments.”

Meanwhile, Kanyi Daily reported that Defence Chiefs from Mali, Niger, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, and Guinea shunned the meeting of ECOWAS defence chiefs in Abuja on Wednesday.

Those in attendance at the meeting, which was said to have commenced at 12:30 pm, were defence chiefs from ten countries that make up the 15-member Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).

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