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Avoid going to war with Niger, ex-deputy gov urges Tinubu

First female Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, has cautioned President Bola Tinubu and the Economic Community of West African States against any attempt to drag Nigeria into war with Niger Republic.

She said Tinubu should concentrate on his legitimacy as the country’s President and not get involved with issues that could jeopardise the security of the nation.

This is coming on the heels of the decision of the Tinubu-led ECOWAS to apply military action on the junta that recently took over power in the Niger Republic.

Ojikutu, who was ousted out of office as the deputy governor of Lagos State by General Sani Abacha coup, stated that coups in Africa showed that ECOWAS had not been monitoring the welfare of citizens in member states, adding that the threat of war should have been the last resort when negotiating with juntas.

Speaking in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, Ojikutu said,  “The person who is chairman of ECOWAS is the person who put war as the first card on the table instead of diplomacy and the people believe that it is because he wants to use war to rectify his position that is tricky because the court has yet to decide whether he is Mr President or not.

“Nigerians are not for war except they are pushed to the wall. Don’t let anybody’s personal ambition throw us into unnecessary war because you may know the beginning, no one knows the end of any war.”

Speaking further, she said, “This is something that I have against ECOWAS; if you want to insist on democracy, you must let the people have the benefit of democracy. That way, the threat of your being overthrown will be minimal. If you are delivering the goods of democracy, opposition will have no place.

“What is the purpose of saying this person is not carrying a gun but he is not giving me the food, not allowing me to access what will sustain me with good policies and effective executions of those policies. I am not an advocate of coup; I have been a victim of coup.”

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