The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has appealed to the federal government and members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to consider reopening the Nigerien and Nigerian borders to enhance economic activities between the two countries.

A statement issued by Professor Tukur Muhammad Baba, the National Publicity Secretary of ACF, lamented that the continued closure of the borders has affected many small-scale businesses between the two countries, such as food supply, medicine, petrol and electricity, among others.

According to the statement, “Since July 2023, Nigeria and other ECOWAS member countries have maintained a regime of economic sanctions, along with a threat of military intervention, to pressurise the military regime in Niger into restoring the erstwhile civilian government of Mohammed Bazoum, in response to the June 2023 military coup (in Niger).”

It stated that after severally doubling down on the threat, ECOWAS recently announced a conditional willingness to dialogue with the Nigerien military regime without removing the threat of military action.

ACF, therefore, condemned any change of government, anywhere, through non-constitutional means. ACF also believes in the sanctity of bilateral or multilateral agreements, especially ECOWAS, an important organisation that Nigeria laboured hard to ensure was established.

The statement observed that Nigeria-Niger communities enjoy close historic socio-cultural, economic, and political ties that predate European colonialism and decried the imposition of “arbitrary and artificial boundaries between our peoples”.

ACF appeals reopening of Nigeria/Niger borders

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