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Ugorji urges Tinubu to dissuade ECOWAS Heads of State

By Chidi Nkwopara, OWERRI

President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to dissuade heads of state of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, from using military might to subdue the coup plotters in Niger Republic.
Archbishop Ugorji made the appeal today, when he made a pastoral visit to inaugurate the Mary Mother of God Catholic Parish, Upe, Ngor Okpala local council area of Imo State.
The CBCN President said: “About a week ago, ECOWAS heads of state met in Abuja, to deliberate on the recent coup d’etat in Niger Republic. At the end of their meeting, they gave the coup plotters one week to restore democratic leadership in Niger or risk military intervention. This marching order expires today.
“They reasoned that it was wrong to change government by force. They are correct, but we also believe that shedding precious human blood is equally wrong. Two wrongs can never make a right.
“We are begging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to dissuade ECOWAS heads of state, to resist the temptation of going to war, against the coup plotters. We beg them to stop the imminent bloodshed that will trail the military intervention.
” We have wasted a lot of human blood in Africa. We have also wasted precious human lives in Nigeria and we cannot continue to in this ugly fashion, for whatever reason.
“For now, we don’t know who is sponsoring the coup plotters. We equally do not know who is behind the decision of the ECOWAS heads of state. This may be a story for another day.
“The media is awash with the news of some countries that have already declared their full support the country and their military strongmen. Russia may also be there, without our knowing.
“While we say no to coup d’etat, we also say no to war, for whatever reason. We say no manipulation of election results because it is also another shade of coup d’etat.
“President Tinubu should please, not launch any military expedition in Niger. Let us not forget that during the ECOMOG expedition, Nigeria not only played a major role but also bore the brunt of the losses in human and material resources.
“ECOWAS heads of state should please, think of what should be the fate of the organization, if they begin military intervention in Niger.
“We have been saying that paliative measures do not cure economic hardship. In the same vein, wars do not resolve misunderstandings. It is better to dialogue instead of going into a full scale war, which nobody can precisely tell when it will end.”
Continuing, Archbishop Ugorji reminded the Federal Government that if Niger is attacked, Nigeriene citizens will scamper into Nigeria for safety.
“This is not what we should pray for, especially as we are currently battling with our sagging economic climate”, Ugorji said.
While reminding Nigerians that “like Jesus Christ, we climb several mountains in our individual, communal and national lives”, Archbishop Ugorji however, urged the citizens to remain steadfast.
His words: “We should remain steadfast, despite tribulations, trials, temptations and suffering. We should live as one family in love and stop all the killings going on in several states of the federation.”

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