Political commentator Professor Usman Yusuf, has emphasized that the Nigerian state is responsible for the lives of Nigerians and should back out from the possible occurrence of war.
In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Sunday, he spoke of the conflicts Nigerians in the north are already facing, and urged President Bola Tinubu not to go through with war against Niger.
He said, “The primary responsibility of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is to Nigeria and not to ECOWAS. He answers to us. He has not even addressed Nigerians and justified what he’s going to do, he has gone to the senate to ask for approval. That’s no way to declare war.
“We in the north, we are tired of wars. We’ve been at war for 14 years now with Boko-Haram since 2009 and 9 years with bandits and kidnappers, and you’re bringing a fresh war to us.
“We in Nigeria, 78% of the land mass of Nigeria, 7 states and 19 states in this country are saying no to an unprovoked war with Niger.”
Yusuf also identified that the progress of negotiations is stunted by the diplomats “putting on the table the threat of violence” at the start of negotiations. He has suggested taking violence off the table to start profound negotiations as well as identify ways to curb the internal crisis in Niger.
He said, “You have brought the last trump card at the very beginning, that’s no way to do it, and it’s showing the inexperience of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the international scene.”
Yusuf also advised to pay no attention to possible embarrassment if Nigeria and ECOWAS back out of the war. He said, “It’s not about ego or the face of the president or anybody. It’s about Nigeria and the lives we are going to commit to battle .
“This is the most important. This is not well thought through. This is misguided and will not be accepted by people, especially we here in the north that live in close proximity to this war.”
Yusuf spoke of the president’s possible attempt to prove his legitimacy through this war saying, “the elephant in the room is that the election is still contested in court.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his election is contested. It’s still in court. He has legitimacy issues, nationally and internationally.”
He emphasized avoiding a proxy war with Russia and NATO saying that, “The fight in Niger is not our fight.”
He added, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has not even settled down. He doesn’t even have his team, and he’s declaring war without consulting the people.”