Mike Ozekhome, a prominent human rights advocate and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has criticized the Tinubu administration’s support for the ECOWAS in their plan to intervene in Niger Republic.
Ozekhome argued that Nigeria lacks both legal and moral grounds to encourage the invasion of another sovereign state, according source.
He emphasized that as a sovereign nation, Nigeria does not have the legal authority to dictate to Niger and its citizens regarding their governance or the type of government they should have.
He pointed out that the international community did not interfere in Nigeria’s internal affairs during past military interventions, which is why Nigeria should refrain from intervening in Niger the source said.
Ozekhome suggested that the most appropriate action for Nigeria, ECOWAS, and other concerned parties would be to impose economic, diplomatic, and related sanctions on Niger, rather than engaging in military intervention.
He attributed the resurgence of military intervention in Africa to the failure of African leaders to provide effective leadership and their desire to remain in power indefinitely.
He also highlighted the need for African leaders to prioritize good governance and avoid perpetuating dynastic rule where a single family holds power for decades, which he deemed unfair to the citizens of those countries.
Other prominent figures at the event, such as the Sultan of Sokoto and the Interior Minister’s representative, echoed the importance of protecting human rights in Nigeria and the West African sub-region.
They emphasized the devastating effects of conflicts and called for efforts to discourage war and conflicts, allowing people to exercise their human rights freely.
The International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) reaffirmed its commitment to promoting human rights and humanitarian services globally, and a book titled ‘International Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflicts:
An African Perspective’ by Dr. Hezekiah Duru was presented at the event. The book addresses legal challenges related to armed conflicts and seeks to offer solutions while extending knowledge in the field.
Additionally, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission expressed concern about the security challenges in the country and pledged support for the symposium’s organizers.
Overall, the event highlighted the importance of respecting the sovereignty of other nations and promoting human rights in the face of armed conflicts and political instability in the African region.