Former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Professor Usman Yusuf has disclosed that there is a precedent of Nigeria intervening in Niger to restore democracy without the use of force. He made this statement while reacting to the recent coup in Niamey, Niger.
While speaking during a program on AIT News, Professor Yusuf said in 1999 under Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure as president of Nigeria, the then-president of Niger, Ibrahim Mainassara was shot at an airport in a coup led by Major Wanke. He said thanks to Obasanjo’s experience and the efforts of his cabinet members, democracy was peacefully restored in Niger without talks about guns and tanks
According to Professor Yusuf, “There has been a precedence. The history of Niger going through a coup, even killing a president and Nigeria coming in. During Obasanjo’s reign in 1999, President Mainassara was shot at the airport, there was a coup by Major Wanke in Niger. Of course, ECOWAS did all their meetings and what happened?
“It was President Obasanjo because of his experience and he had his cabinet, the minister of foreign affairs then was Sule Lamido; they went through the backdoor channels, continued negotiations and what happened was that eventually Wanke was moved out of power and there was a transition and Tanja became the president. There was no threat that we are going to come with guns and tanks”.