NSCIA's Firm Stand Against ECOWAS Sanctions in the Wake of Niger's Coup

pmond
pmond • 9 August 2023
Niger Coup d'état

In a bold display of its influential role, the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has emerged as a voice opposing the economic sanctions recently imposed on Niger by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) following the country's coup. The NSCIA, a significant Islamic organization in Nigeria led by the esteemed Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar, CFR, has taken a principled stance against the use of such sanctions, citing their historical ineffectiveness and potential for failure.

As ECOWAS announced sanctions that included the closure of air and land borders, and the freezing of Niger's accounts in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the NSCIA, through its Deputy Secretary-General Salisu Shehu, expressed its dissenting perspective. The organization also raised concerns over the proposed use of military force to remove the coup leaders responsible for ousting President Mohamed Bazoum from office on 26 July 2023.

The NSCIA's position reflects a rich history of advocating for peace. Founded in 1960, the organization has long been a pillar of Islamic representation, serving the interests of millions of Muslims who consider the Sultan of Sokoto as their spiritual leader. Over the years, the NSCIA has played an essential role in fostering dialogue, understanding, and cooperation among diverse communities in Nigeria.

The recent coup d'état in Niger presented the NSCIA with a dilemma. The organization's plea for dialogue emphasizes its commitment to nonviolent dispute settlement. It recognizes the complexities of the situation while showing the importance of diplomacy.

The 14th Emir of Kano met with the coup leaders in Niger.

In a parallel effort, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the 14th Emir of Kano and a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria took the initiative to engage with the coup leaders in Niger. This strategic move followed the junta's decision to cancel a meeting with representatives from the African Union, ECOWAS, and a senior US diplomat. Sanusi's involvement adds a layer of expertise and experience to the diplomatic efforts, potentially opening avenues for constructive dialogue.

As the situation evolves, the NSCIA's role in advocating for dialogue gains significance. The Sultan of Sokoto's appointment to the negotiation team highlights the organization's willingness to engage constructively. The NSCIA's historical significance, coupled with its dedication to a peaceful resolution, positions it as a key player in addressing the aftermath of the Niger coup d'état.

In conclusion, the NSCIA's resolute opposition to ECOWAS sanctions and its unwavering call for dialogue shows its commitment to fostering stability, understanding, and peaceful resolution in the region. As events unfold, the influence of the NSCIA and figures like Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi could play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Niger and its pursuit of stability."

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