Professor Jonah Onuoha has advised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against the use of military force in resolving the coup in the Niger Republic.
Onuoha, a former Head of the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), advised that diplomacy be applied first.
He gave the advice in Nsukka on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while speaking on the recent coup in Niger which ousted the democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoun.
He asked the ECOWAS to deploy diplomacy by negotiating with the military junta and assure them of their safety if democracy was restored in the country.
“Using military force first will escalate the problem in Niger, as those behind the coup will resist it with the last drop of their blood since they know they may face the death sentence if overpowered.
“But if ECOWAS would sit in a round table with the leaders of the coup, talk to them and appeal to their conscience so they see reasons to restore democracy, it will be better.
“ECOWAS should also assure them that no harm will come upon any of them involved in the coup if they comply and restore democratic government in the country,” he said.
The University Don added that it should only be when all avenues of diplomacy fail that ECOWAS can resort to the use of military force from West African countries to remove the military power usurpers in that country.
“If every avenue to use diplomacy fails, then the use of military force as a last resort can be justified.
He, however, said that in using force in Niger, all the ECOWAS countries must contribute their military, adding that it should not be left to Nigeria alone because President Bola Tinubu is the chairman of the ECOWAS,” he said.