The special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on media and publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, has said military intervention is “not off the table” as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) battles to return democratic rule to the Niger Republic.
Ngelale revealed this during an interview with Al Jazeera on Tuesday evening.
He was reacting to concerns that Niger’s junta had defied the ECOWAS deadline.
ECOWAS had threatened the use of force if the junta does not comply with the deadline which elapsed on Sunday.
Ngelala noted that the additional sanctions on Niger are proof that the commission is focused on a diplomatic approach before resorting to the use of force as a last option.
“We are not taking the kind of simplistic approach that some international media have chosen to take which is that ‘either you must go in or you’re not serious or you stay out and you’re not serious,’ we do not accept that simple narrative.
“What we are saying is that we have multiple levers on which we can leverage to achieve the end that we are seeking to achieve which is to uphold the ECOWAS protocols by ensuring that there is a return of civilian democratic rule under the leadership of President Bazoum as duly elected by the people of Niger Republic.
“Now, whether that happens today or next week or next month we will see but we are determined to leverage all elements of our power regionally to ensure that happens and that is not limited only to military intervention.
“Although military intervention has not and will not be taken off the table,” Ngelale said.