Nigerien Sanctions: Senator Ndume calls on Tinubu to lift them as its affecting 100,000 Nigerian IDPs in Niger

Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume has said that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sanctions on Niger Republic following a July coup that deposed President Mohamed Bazoum violated International Humanitarian Law (IHL).


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Ndume stated this in an interview with journalists in Maiduguri yesterday.

The senator who represents Borno South at the national assembly noted that he is not in support of a military coup in Niger, but punishing innocent citizens in the name of sanctions that affects the humanitarian needs of people is unacceptable.

According to him, cutting down on power supply, restrictions of free movement, preventing food, fuel and water supply to Niger Republic has negative repercussions not only for Nigeriens but to Nigerian Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) taking refuge in Niger.

Ndume explained that the best way forward is to negotiate with the coup juntas to release Mohamed Bazoum and hand over power to a democratically elected government.

He said there are over one hundred thousand Nigerian IDPs in Niger who fled Boko Haram conflict, especially people from Borno and Yobe who are now facing unnecessary hardship due to economic sanctions after the July 30 coup.

“I’m one of those that are against the action taken by ECOWAS leadership. I believe that decision was rushed and it was not the right thing because is anti-democratic.

“Over one hundred thousand Nigerians, indigents of Borno state from Abadam, Guzamala, Malum Fatori, Baga Kukawa migrated to Niger Republic during the days of Boko Haram attacks and Niger people accepted them as their brothers and sisters.

“Nigeria and Niger Republic is only separated by the borderline imposed by colonial government, 8 states in the North sharing border with Niger, Kano, Katsina, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi state, these are our neighbors, our culture and language is the same.

“For five months now the borders are closed, which means you cannot freely move while the ECOWAS protocols are saying there should be free movement, the sanctions are not well thought out.

“By the constitution of Nigeria, even the president is not supposed to take that action without the approval of the national assembly.

“Niger government has been supporting Nigeria even during the Biafran war, France supported Biafra but Niger a former colony of France supported Nigeria and in fact with military support.

“The sanctions are not affecting the juntas but innocent citizens especially women, children, and vulnerable people who have no hand in the coup.

The senator who is the Majority Leader called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a matter of urgency to reconsider the sanctions, particularly on the humanitarian needs of the people.

He also appealed to President Tinubu to lift the sanctions first and negotiate with the junta through Nigerian former head of state.

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