- The unfolding situation in the coup-hit Niger Republic is generating reactions from prominent Nigerians, Africans, and global leaders
- The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is trying its best but has not been able to deal with the challenge effectively
- Outspoken Nigerian public commentator, Reno Omokri, has bared his thoughts and has a piece of advice to offer his compatriots
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Niamey, Niger Republic - A prominent opposition member, Reno Omokri, on Friday, August 11, asked Nigerian leaders from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition parties to be careful about their public utterances about their country and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) policies on Niger Republic.
In a Twitter post, Omokri said some public comments might be seen as undermining Nigeria's foreign policy and giving aid and comfort to the "putschists".
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Niger: 'Nigerian leaders should be careful', Omokri
According to the diaspora-based Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporter, if top citizens have divergent opinions on what Nigeria ought to do, “the patriotic thing would be to privately pass it on to the Bola Tinubu government through back channels”.
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“If we have disputes about the conduct and result of Nigeria's last election, it does not mean that we are ourselves an undemocratic country.
“Democracy is not only when your candidate wins. Moreover, the case is in court. That is democracy in action. Nigeria must have a united front domestically if we want our foreign policy, especially in a potential conflict zone, to carry weight. ]
"There is a massive difference between politics and foreign policy. We can play politics on several issues, for example, the current state of the economy and the value of the Naira, as well as the cost of fuel and its contagious effects on Nigeria's inflation rate.”
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Furthermore, Omokri cautioned that to take a public position that undermines Nigeria's foreign policy and the interests of democracy in a foreign and neighbouring country “would appear to be bad politicking at best and anti-democratic at worst”.
“Supporting your country does not mean supporting the government in power. Patriotism is not partisanship. Right now, what Nigeria needs is patriotism.
"On this Niger issue, if you must commend, do so publicly, and if you must condemn, do so privately. In other matters, we should be free to speak as we like publicly.”
Niger: Police arrest Zambian youth
In a piece of related news, Legit.ng reported that police in the South-Central African nation of Zambia arrested and charged one Brighton Knox Mwanza for openly supporting a coup.
Authorities charged Mwanza, 25, with “inciting mutiny” after tweets asking for a Niger-style military coup went viral.