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Nigerian Lawmaker Wase to Lead ECOWAS Parliament Mediation Team to Niger

This is a last ditch attempt by the subregional body parliamentary body to prevent military confrontation.

The Community Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), otherwise known as ECOWAS Parliament has appointed Nigeria’s lawmaker, Idris Wase to lead 10 other parliamentarians to Mediate with Niger junta.

This is a last ditch attempt by the subregional body parliamentary body to prevent military confrontation with the Nigerien military who forceful took power from President Mohamed Bazoum.

The ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government led by Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu had already ordered the activation of ECOWAS of the subregional standby force to return the country to democratic rule after initial attempts at dialogue have failed.

But ECOWAS Parliament members after a webinar on Saturday opted to give a last chance at peace by inaugurating a mediation committee to convince the junta to allow democracy to return.

The Parliament also appealed to the appropriate ECOWAS authority to review the sanctions on Niger coupists as the community members are the one bearing the brunt.

The ad hoc committee, which, is to be led by the First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Rt. Hon. Idris Wase, is mandated to apart for the task in Niger saddled with the task of interfacing with the military juntas in Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso to accelerate the return to democratic rule in those countries as well.

This move was  part of the Parliamentary option of diplomacy, to support the mediation effort of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, in sustaining democratic governance in the subregion.

It was part of resolutions reached at the end of the Virtual Extra Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Parliament, convened by the Speaker, Sidie Tunis to delibrate on the Niger political crisis.

The committee are to report back to the Parliament for further legislative actions.

During the plenary, a Nigerian MP, Senator Abiodun Olujimi, urged ECOWAS to look beyond the surface in finding lasting solution to the Niger political impasse.

She had warned that the support the coupists in Niger enjoys from citizens should not be taken for granted.

She said: “Let us look back and be circumspect. Our people are copycat, and they like to copy bad things. We need to dig deep to find out the real reason for the coup.”

She also posited that: “We need to legislate on the issue of coup d’etat to forestall future occurrence”.

MPs have appealed to ECOWAS Authority to relax the sanctions so that those it is made to protect should not die of diseases and starvation.

The Parliament also muted the idea of engaging the super powers who had been fingered to be behind the crisis in Niger, so as to find a middle ground in resolving the crisis permanently.

Wase is given the task of leading 10 other members to Niger on the mediation duty.

Michael Olugbode in Abuja