Home / News From Nigeria / Breaking News / Double Standard, ECOWAS, Democracy, and the Presidential Election Tribunal in Nigeria, By Hajiya Najatu Muhammad
Najatu Muhammad.

Double Standard, ECOWAS, Democracy, and the Presidential Election Tribunal in Nigeria, By Hajiya Najatu Muhammad

Recent events in the affairs of our nation, most especially the risk of destabilising the entire West African region by the ECOWAS leaders necessitates the need to once again speak out and to call on all Nigerians to stand united in calling the ECOWAS leaders to order by denouncing violence, and by addressing the devastating consequences of war on human lives and societies.

The call for a military intervention in Niger Republic (“Niger”) to reverse a coup in Niger is nothing short of a declaration of war against the Niger Republic, Mali, Burkina Faso, and the
Republic of Guinea by the ECOWAS on behalf of foreign colonial interest. Such despicable action in the name of democracy is not only condemnable but also unacceptable.

Democracy is not a one size fits all model, and democracy is not a hypocritical agenda that is to used by interested parties to advance their personal interest at the time of their choosing for their personal benefits.

To discuss the issue of democracy in the ECOWAS region means accepting that democracy even exist in the ECOWAS region. For us to truly understand what is going on in Nigeria and the ECOWAS today, we must look deeper and beyond the obvious by dissecting the interest of all parties involved.
The first party and interest that needs to be highlighted is France. A colonial power that has instigated over 60 coup and coup attempts on the African continent from 1960 to date.

As aformer colonial power, France has supported the most undemocratic regimes on the African continent to date in order to continue to exploit the resources of these African countries.

This so called ECOWAS military operation to protect democracy in Niger is nothing short of a joke taken too far. While the world is being distracted with the drum beat of war against Niger Republic, one of the ECOWAS leaders – the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, dissolved the main opposition party, Pastef, ahead of the February 2024 general election in Senegal and the opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, who is set to win the Presidential election with a large margin was arrested, with hundreds of his protesting supporters killed and maimed by government forces. All these unfortunate “democratic” events happened in the past one week alone, while we are all being distracted with the coup in Niger Republic.

France has not said a word and ECOWAS has not declared war on Senegal. This is tantamount to Peter Obi’s Labour Party or Atiku Abubakar’s PDP being dissolved, and the two opposition leaders arrested while hundreds of their supporters killed or maimed by the security forces under the cover of France and its allies.

In Togo, another Francophone ECOWAS country backed by France, there was wide spread protest for a whole year against the 55 years unconstitutional rule of father and son, Gnassingbe Eyadema and Faure Gnassingbe. The father ruled Togo with an iron fist for 37 years until his death in 2005, after which the son took over the helms of affairs and has been in power for 18 years despite the two term limit set in Togo’s 1992 constitution.

France and the ECOWAS continue to support the dictator just as they did his father for 37 years. Dear Nigerians, is this the type of democracy France wants to force on Nigeria and Nigerians?
In the Republic of Guinea (where Tinubu obtained citizenship by swearing allegiance to another country that is also a french colony, hence making him ineligible to contest the 2023 presidential election), Alpha Conde, the then President of Guinea was toppled by a military coup one year into his THIRD term in office. Alpha Conde was supported by France and the ECOWAS until a military coup toppled his “democratic” government.

In Ivory Coast, French soldiers matched to the capital and arrested President Laurent Gbagbo in 2011. He was physically dragged out of the presidential palace by French soldiers for being “undemocratic”. He was replaced as President of Ivory Coast with Alhassan Outtara. Today Outtara has forced his way to an unconstitutional 3rd term as President of Ivory Coast despite unending protest by the people of Ivory Coast.

He continues to be backed and supported by France and French forces.
In Gabon, another francophone country – though not a member of ECOWAS, Omar Bongo , who served in the French Military ruled the country for 42 years under the protection of France. Upon his death in 2009, his son Ali Bongo took over and has been the President of Gabon for the past 14 years with the support of France. The wife of Ali Bongo bought a mansion in Los Angeles for $25 million. That is equivalent to 21 billion Naira or 15 billion CFA. All under the protection and support of France.

Today in Nigeria, we have Tinubu being supported by France after the most controversial election declaration in the history of our country. I must remind Nigerians that Tinubu visited France before the primary elections. He visited France after the Primary elections. He again visited France before the general elections, and after the general elections. Emmanuel Macron, the President of France was the first President to congratulate Tinubu despite the fact that the European Union Observation Mission report condemned the 2023 general election. It is therefore not surprising that after his swearing in, the first country Tinubu visited as President is France.

Nigerians need to know what France wants from Tinubu and from Nigeria. We also want to know what Tinubu wants from France in return? The overzealousness in cutting electricity supply to Niger and shutting our border with Niger is not just baffling but utterly undiplomatic and a clear sign of incompetence.

Is sending our troops to Niger without meeting the constitutional requirement democratic? Section 5 (4) (a) of the 1999 constitution, as amended states that the President cannot declare a state of war between Nigeria and any other country except with the approval of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, sitting in a joint session.
Moreover, is the coup in Niger Republic an imminent threat to Nigeria’s national security? Is Niger not a sovereign state guaranteed under the UN Charter?

The ECOWAS military intervention in Niger is just another smoke screen and a distraction from the current travails of Tinubu in the Presidential Election Tribunal, just as it is for Senegal’s Macky Sall, and his french backed security forces.

If Nigeria is at war, Tinubu can declare a state of emergency or a martial law that will allow him to remain in power indefinitely, putting aside any tribunal or judicial process challenging his eligibility to even contest the election. With the backing of France and other colonial powers, he will deploy security forces to quail any form of protest to his undemocratic and unconstitutional machinations. Tinubu is aware that he is not eligible to contest. The tribunal judges know this, APC as a political party also knows this. So why is Tinubu so eager to go to war on behalf of France and with the backing of France in the name of democracy? In France, are democratic presidential election results announced at 3am? Did Emmanuel Macron of France encourage his supporters to “snatch it and grab it”?

Furthermore, why is APC and Tinubu talking about a rerun as the outcome of the presidential election tribunal? Do they already know the outcome of the Presidential Tribunal’s sitting? Is there a channel of communication between the Presidential Election Tribunal and Tinubu/APC?
Anything short of disqualifying Tinubu by the Presidential Election Tribunal will be tantamount to the destruction of Nigeria as a sovereign state by the judiciary. This will be most unfortunate as our generation has continued to fail young Nigerians and their children.

Although most Nigerians see the Judiciary as an untrustworthy arm of government, we will continue to demand for justice and we will continue to hold the tribunal to account as our future, the future of our country, and the future of our children is being toiled with by international colonial players and their local benefactors.

The panel of 5 judges that are presiding over the Presidential Election Tribunal are not only representing the judiciary, but they are also a representation of Nigeria as a sovereign and
unified state as each and everyone one of the 5 judges is a reflection and a representation of at least 5 out of the 6 geopolitical zones; Hon. Justice Haruna Tsammani – North East, Hon. Justice Stephen Jonah Adah – North Central, Hon. Justice Mistura Omodere Bolaji-Yusuf – South West, Hon. Justice Boloukuoromo Moses Ugo – South South, and Hon. Justice Abba Bello Mohammed – North West.

In just 60 days in office, Tinubu has created unimaginable chaos throughout Nigeria. I hope that INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu is seeing everything that is happening in Nigeria today. Yakubu will forever remain a pariah in Nigeria for generations to come. I hope he is happy with the legacy that he has left his children and grandchildren.

Finally, I want to make it categorically clear that ECOWAS is now simply a cult for undemocratic leaders desperately trying to hold onto power on behalf of colonial interest. However, Nigeria has come of age and despite multiple attempts on my life, despite seven surgeries due to being poisoned, despite being jailed multiple times, despite my husband being chopped to pieces and burnt alive, I NAJATU MUHAMMAD will continue to fight for a better Nigeria and a free Africa. The fight for justice and freedom is eternal. I call on all Nigerians to do the same because
I am definitely not a coward. Justice and freedom is not for the weak.
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Najatu Muhammad.

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