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Kandeh Cautions President Barrow Against Deploying Troops to Niger

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Hon. Mama Kandeh, Secretary General and Party Leader, GDC

By Buba Gagigo

The Secretary-General and Party Leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), Hon. Mama Kandeh, has warned that it would be a grave mistake for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to attack the Republic of Niger.

“In my belief, it will be the biggest mistake for ECOWAS to attack the Republic of Niger. If you are going there to restore democracy and to reinstall Bazoum in the government and Bazoum and his family are in captivity, do you think you are helping Bazoum, his family, and his ministers? I don’t think so. Maybe if Bazoum was not captured but someone who is under captivity? For me, that is not safe for you to go there to reinstall Bazoum as a president. You may have your plans, but I don’t think it will be easy like that,” he said.

The Gambia Democratic Congress leader suggested that ECOWAS is intervening in Niger on behalf of France, not Bazoum.

“Secondly, I want you the president to be mindful, I don’t think this is a fight for Bazoum alone. It’s like the Africa Francophone wants to end neocolonialism and imperialism within themselves. Asked your fellow presidents about the agreements that France had with francophone countries after independence. They had an agreement that they (France) will be the country that will be selling them arms, training them and they (France) will have a military base in every francophone country. And also their natural resources will be under their control. So if they got to a stage where they cannot continue and you (President Barrow) know that is not in your country, at least the British didn’t go to that extent. You are not fighting for Bazoum, ECOWAS is fighting for France,” he said.

The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) leader said that he does not support the overthrow of the Nigerien president, Mohamed Bazoum, because Bazoum had not even completed his first term in office.

“Yes is true that Bazoum is the one that is overthrown and if you look at his situation, he didn’t even complete one term to say he did a second term and want to change for another term. I didn’t see any behavior that Bazoum should have shown for people to judge that he wants to clinch to power, he didn’t arrive at that stage. All of us are not in support of his removal,” he said.

Kandeh said no politicians that want to be in power through the ballot box will support a Coup d’etat and said he’s also not in support of an unconstitutional change of government;

“I am also not in support of an unconstitutional change of government. But there’s a situation that is happening in West Africa and I want all of us to be mindful especially the president (Adama Barrow). I have seen the ECOWAS meetings in Nigeria that they want to discuss with the Niger soldiers to return power to Muhammed Bazoum or ECOWAS will attack Niger. I am not saying my opinion is the best, maybe the way I am thinking and what is happening is not the same or maybe i don’t know because I am just a human and I can make mistakes. In my belief, it will be the biggest mistake for ECOWAS to attack the Republic of Niger,” he said.

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