Nana Akua Avle, a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has issued a stern warning to the Akufo-Addo-led administration, by informing the President to “mind his own business.”
She underlined the necessity for the government to concentrate on the advancement of the country, rather than interfering with foreign affairs.
The NDC member emphasized the value of resolving home difficulties, over pursuing recognition. She claimed that addressing internal issues that help the majority of people, rather than allocating resources elsewhere, was what was important. She emphasized Ghanaians’ sufferings and argued that their welfare should come first, before sending troops to Niger to put an end to a coup.
Moreover, Madam Akua pleaded with people to not agree for their husbands and loved ones to be sent into battle, highlighting the likelihood of escalation. She stated that the primary method of handling the matter should be diplomacy. “The President and the ECOWAS must opt for diplomatic channels to resolve the issue, instead of resorting to military deployment,” she averred.
Additionally, she argued that rather than being sent overseas, soldiers needed to deal with local problems like armed robberies and illicit mining. She emphasized that the government had to concentrate on internal issues, rather than diverting funds to foil a coup elsewhere. “We need our soldiers to safeguard us, not to interfere in trivial foreign disputes,” she added.
On the other hand, Frances Essiam, an NPP spokeswoman, voiced opposing opinions. She disagreed with those who opposed the ECOWAS involvement, arguing that it was not intended to foment war, but rather to protect and address the coup situation.
She warned against politicizing security issues and made it clear that sending in the military did not always mean that lives were at risk; rather, it was done to bring about peace.
Dialogue And Mediation Should Be First Options To Tackle Situation
Emmanuel Bombande, a former Executive Director of West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), recommended that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) should use negotiation and communication to tackle the problems in Niger.
He said that while ECOWAS military involvement is permitted, diplomacy and negotiation should always come first.
The United Nations Senior Mediation Advisor, said “I think the message of trying to use what has been described by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs as ‘by all means’, is basically to have a very strong and firm hand and to insist that ECOWAS will not relent.”
“But for me, the language should exactly portray the ECOWAS political engagement, through dialogue and mediation and not to create a misrepresentation that the military option has now come to the fore.”Emmanuel Bombande
The former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs inquired as to what the ECOWAS’ goals were. The ECOWAS’s goals, he continued, included returning to its own protocols, particularly the one on democracy and good governance from 2001, which does not offer what might be referred to as a military option in such circumstances.
“What it presents more is to use the type of preventable diplomatic effort, negotiations, and dialogue. Though in the repertoire of choices to make for the restoration of constitutional rule, ECOWAS could now deploy any other means that might ensure that constitutional rule is reestablished.”Emmanuel Bombande
Also, Abudu Seidu, President of the Ghanaian community in Niger, urged the authorities of ECOWAS to relax the sanctions against Niger. He claimed that the sanctions are having an impact on international trade. He used traders of rotting onions as an example.
According to Abudu Seidu, Niger is a significant market for onion traders, but many traders with trucks full of onions are stranded, owing to the closed borders. He then urged the ECOWAS leaders to engage in peaceful negotiations with the junta’s leadership, in order to open the borders of Niger.
“A lot of traders deal in onions and are currently stuck with trucks full of their onions at the borders. If the ECOWAS can take the sanctions out, I think it will be very good because now all the borders have been closed. You know many Ghanaians are trading in onions; many of the traders cannot cross the border and many onions are going bad. So, this is a big problem for the onion traders, and that one is a big problem
“So, if there is anything our leaders can do, they should try to take out the sanctions. They can go through peace talks; it will really help all the people living there.”Abudu Seidu