President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Archbishop Daniel Okoh has urged President Bola Tinubu to avoid towing the military option in his bid to restore democracy back to Niger Republic.
Soldiers in the West African country seized power from the democratically elected government of President Mohamed Bazoum on July 27. He is still being held by the military while pressure is being mounted on the military junta to allow democracy to thrive in the country.
Okoh in a statement made available to Church Times on Thursday, August 10 said CAN as an organization deeply committed to promoting justice, peace, and harmony will enjoin President Tinubu “to remain on the path of dialogue and avoid any form of military intervention or measures that would create enmity between the good people of Nigeria and Niger.”
While noting that the path to lasting peace lies in upholding democratic processes, he said there is also the need to respect the sovereignty of nations and engage in peaceful dialogue to address grievances and resolve conflicts.
He implored all stakeholders involved in the Niger Republic issue “to embrace peaceful negotiations, exercise restraint, and tirelessly work towards a sustainable resolution of the crisis in Niger”.
Okoh stated further that “It is crucial to remember that peace is a collective responsibility, and only through joint efforts and unwavering commitment can we build a future of progress, stability, and prosperity for our nations.”
Okoh in the statement however commended President Ahmed Tinubu and the Authority of the ECOWAS Heads of Government for their unwavering commitment to discouraging coups d’état and the forceful takeover of power. “We also applaud their commendable efforts in resolving the crisis currently faced by our neighbours in the Republic of Niger.”
He stated that CAN recognizes the gravity of the situation in Niger and “the importance of upholding democratic principles, peace, and stability within the West African region.:
Okoh also commended Tinubu for General Abdulsalam Abubakar and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III to engage with the Nigerien authorities. “This diplomatic overture demonstrates President Tinubu’s commitment to peaceful dialogue and his belief in the power of constructive engagement to foster understanding and resolve conflicts.”