Northern Leaders Urge Government to Reject US and French Military Bases in Nigeria

In a move reflecting growing concern over the presence of foreign military bases in Nigeria, top northern leaders have vehemently opposed the potential relocation of United States and French military installations to the country’s soil.

Northern Leaders Urge Government to Reject US and French Military Bases in Nigeria

Citing apprehensions regarding economic and environmental consequences, the Northern leaders has issued a stern warning to President Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly.

In a letter dated May 3, 2024, addressed to President Tinubu and legislative leaders, the northern elders expressed strong reservations against succumbing to pressure from the United States and France to host troops previously stationed in the Sahel region, including Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The letter emphasized concerns that such agreements could compromise Nigeria’s defense and security interests.

Highlighting the purported ineffectiveness of US military operations in the Sahel to curb terrorism, the letter underscored the prevailing skepticism surrounding the benefits of hosting foreign military bases. Signatories to the letter included prominent figures such as Abubakar Mohammed of the Centre for Democratic Development, Research and Training (CEDDERT), Kabiru Chafe from the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), Attahiru Jega, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), among others.

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Tensions between France and Niger escalated following a military coup in the Sahel country, with the junta demanding the withdrawal of French forces. This demand echoed similar actions taken by neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali after successful coups. France, a key security ally in the region, had deployed over 1,500 troops in Niger to combat jihadist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

Amidst the backdrop of strained Franco-Nigerien relations, Russia seized the opportunity to enhance its military presence in the region, capitalizing on anti-Western sentiments. Niger’s military government, in January, opted for increased military cooperation with Russia, subsequently revoking an accord with the US government in March, which permitted American troops to operate on Nigerien bases. This move signaled a significant shift in geopolitical alliances, with repercussions for regional security dynamics.

The decision to reject the establishment of US and French military bases in Nigeria underscores broader geopolitical shifts in the Sahel region, with implications for Nigeria’s defense posture and regional stability. As debates over foreign military presence intensify, Nigeria finds itself at a crossroads, navigating between competing security interests and regional power dynamics.

One thought on “Northern Leaders Urge Government to Reject US and French Military Bases in Nigeria

  1. If Nigeria is a federation state, Nigerian government should establish more sea ports in other Nigerian states to facilitate economic growth in every other parts of the country, not just Lagos states. There are sea border lines along so many southern states in Nigeria. Decongestant Lagos and give others equal playing fields on economic development. Federation?

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