New Telegraph

ECOWAS Exit:Niger’s Action Will’ve Consequence on Insurgency Fight –DHQ

The Defence Head- quarters (DHQ) has expressed concerns over the exit of Ni- ger Republic from the Eco- nomic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), saying the development would have consequential effect on sub-regional fight against terrorism, insurgency and other transnational crimes. Sunday Telegraph recalls that Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali had, on Sunday January 28, jointly announced their exit from the sub-regional bloc, accusing it of moving “away from the ideals of its founding fathers and pan-Africanism”.

Apart from having a contiguous relationship with Nigeria, Niger has continued to play a key role in the fight against insurgency, through the instrumentality of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which headquarters is in N’Djamena, Chad. As a combined multinational formation, the MN- JTF comprises militaries from Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Chad, and Cameroon. Reacting to the announcement in an exclusive chat with this Sunday Tele- graph, the Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj-Gen. Edward Buba, said it would not augur well for the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency war, especially within the Lake Chad general area.

The operations’ spokes- person said: “Indeed, there would be consequences for the region’s fight against insurgency”. In an earlier interview with our correspondent on the subject matter, the pioneer commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Legal Studies, Brig-Gen. Godwin Anyalemechi (rtd), had posited that the action, if not stopped, would bring pressure to bear on the nation’s defence and security architecture. He had said, inter alia, that: “Their exit is more likely to cause loopholes in the security architecture.

You know Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali are contiguous states. “So, taking them now as a bloc, and they are all leaving at the same time, definitely, it will cause us some security problems. “Security wise, the exit is not good for Nigeria. It means we have to increase our defence very well. The money it will cost us to build our architecture, in terms of defence, will now be more, because it is better for you to have a friendly neighbour, than adversary”.

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