Four *’Breaking News*’ in the last 24 hours inspired this conversation.

One, America’s meeting with the Junta in Niger was fruitless. Two Italy told ECOWAS leaders to issue a second ultimatum. What if the second ultimatum is equally ignored, then what happens next?
Three, ECOWAS presidents have fixed their next meeting for Thursday this week in Abuja with a view to taking decisions that will affect the destinies of 441 millions inhabitants of the sub-region.
Four, The world of Statistics in its latest release ranked Nigeria with the highest level of unemployment rate in the world at 33.5% while Niger Republic is listed among the world’s best three with unemployment level at 0.5%.

The question that came to mind is : what is the West up to in Nigeria and West Africa?
Africa accounts for about 20% of the world’s uranium production with Nambia, Niger and South Africa as the topmost three countries, even uranium has been discovered in 10 states of Nigeria, then there should be more to the impending battle beyond uranium.

Sudan, Africa’s largest country is in ruins, Libya, Africa’s once richest country is in ruins, Nigeria, Africa;s most populous country cannot afford to go to war with any country based on the sorry state of the economy as illustrated in the World statistics release of yesterday. If the West wants Nigeria and ECOWAS to dance the *palongo dance, we must be bold enough to tell them that our dancing shoes are missing*
Dante Inferno is everywhere… and still spreading!
This was how Ukraine’s President Zelenski was induced to face the Putin’s Goliath when his David didn’t have a stone to put into his sling.
South Africa, Africa’s most technologically advanced country is marked for inferno for her ”unpardonable” sin of joining BRICS, It is the case of the friend of my enemy is my enemy, and Kenya , Africa’s number one tourist destination may not escape the West’s hammer for Ruto’s ”revolutionary moves and outspokenness”.
The Yoruba idiom that says: when we cry, we can see, is perfectly relevant for this season.of global shift.

The ace columnist, Mr Dare Babarinsa captured it succinctly: *There is No Good Road to Niger* None. Honest!

There are five distinct roads available for Nigeria and ECOWAS on July 26th 2023, when the coup was announced.

*Road A1: DOVE DIPLOMACY*: The ECOWAS president could have released his presidential jet for three African Presidents to visit Niamey within 24 hours of the coup broadcast (before ECOWAS issued its strong public condemnation) with a view to negotiating with the Head of the junta and obtain his firm commitment to visit Abuja to meet with the president within one week of the coup to jointly seek for a peaceful resolution of the Niger question and agree on the timeline when Democracy will be back.

*Road A2: CHAMELEON/ AMBIGUITY DIPLOMACY* Pull the rug off the feet of the junta by cutting a ‘’sweet corn soup’’, irresistible deal with the WAGNER GROUP. For bad, WAGNER is a factor and a reality in Africa’s stability today and even, tomorrow. A non-state actor controlling several African countries indirectly. What money cannot do, more money will do. Stealthily work for a regime change in partnership with France and America that would return Niger to democracy within 90 days. Multiplying a negative by a negative is always a positive, not only mathematically but even, diplomatically.

*Road A3: CASH DOWN DIPLOMACY (CDP): Working out a robust severance package* of between $10- $20 million and bullet proof Lexus 570 machines could also have done the magic for the ‘’BIG BOYS in NIAMEY’. We can go to bed with the junta on a ‘’short time’’ basis or into a ‘’marriage’’. Israel, UAE, America and the West are the masters of Cash-at-hand-back-for-bed –diplomacy!

*Road A4: HIRE PURCHASE DIPLOMACY*(HPD): Our ‘’Boys in Niamey’’ can be assisted to transmute to civilian regime and be on Nigeria’s permanent payroll, the way America, Britain, France and Israel secretly have ‘’PLACEHOLDER PRESIDENTS’’ globally. This is ‘’marriage of convenience’’. There is a book: Our *Man in Damascus* by Eli Ben-Hanan. It talked about how Israel planted their man inside the Syria government for years There were several precedents in international relations.

*Road A5: GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY* (GBD): This is the last option, the most expensive and the least desirable. Saudi Arabia went to Yemen, it was a colossal failure, ditto America in Libya, Syria etc. According to Brown university’s Costs of War Project, the US had spent over $2.2 trillion to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as at 2019, besides leading to the death of 7000 American troops and 177,000 military men from the two invaded countries, not to mention the number of American ally’s troops that died and thousands that got wounded for life.
China smartly leapfrogged America in manufacturing and global supply chain during the period America was busy fighting for ”democracy” all over the world. It was a back-to-back loss for America as democracy remains elusive in those countries including Libya, she lost money and 35,000 liters of blood together with her hegemony. Today, in the Middle East, the opposite of America is China. China is the peace maker, bringing Saudi Arabia and Iran together. America, no doubt, is gnashing her teeth in rage.In a word, war is blind, deaf and dumb. The utility value of the second ultimatum is zero.

Drawing a RED LINE on the sand within 5 minutes of the coup’s announcement is garrulous while a new ultimatum as suggested by Italy, after the first ultimatum fell flat, is preposterous. To remain on the ‘’list of veritable solution providers’’, ECOWAS needs to think different on Thursday
She needs to do her homework or hire competent professionals to help her separate the noises from the sounds in order to get the right signals on which to base her *final decision* after intense , critical thinking and logical reasoning. Cutting off the supply of electricity to the Niger Republic can be counterproductive and further compound the situation. What if the Niger republic damn the consequences, and dam river Niger with the support of Russia, what then becomes of our Kainji Dam?

River Nile is Africa’s next biggest inferno on the horizon. Ethiopia and Egypt are secretly preparing for a final showdown over the building of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam by the former on River Nile which the latter sees as posing existential threats. No Nile, no Egypt, no River Niger, no Nigeria!

By the way how much is the Niger Republic worth? Just a yearly GDP of $15B .**Pere*! Our brother, Dangote is richer than this Niger Republic that is sucking all the oxygen in the room right now. Yes, Aliko! So what are we talking about?
Okay someone told me Niger poses existential threat to Nigeria because of *Domino Theory* effect. The theory is that if it happens in Niger, It can happen in Nigeria, and that an unstable Niger may give birth to a cascading crises in Nigeria. I agree. But the simple solution is a combination of good governance and Technology solutions
In 1975, Deng was having constant nightmares over Japan. Deng didn’t start a war, but rather, he embraced Technology. He downsized the military by 20% and at the same time recruited fresh brains from universities. He challeged them to come up with superior technology solutions to what obtained in Japan. It worked.
When Iran government couldn’t sleep because of Israel, their leaders recruited fresh brains into the military focusing on 3 core technology areas: Cyber security, Drones Technology and Artificial intelligence. Today, Iran is so good in Drones Technology that it supplies Russia. And Iran is the second strongest county in Cyber security and Cyber attack in the Middle East, after Israel.
With less than $5m , Nigeria can set up:*Military ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE UNIVERSITY*, (MAIU) under the supervision of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as the Chancellor.
Within the next three years, Nigeria can provide effective, efficient and inexpensive security cover not only for itself but also to the entire West Africa countries. The CDS should recruit just 1000 fresh and brightest university graduates. This is win -win-win: blood is not wasted, Jobs are created, the cost of future coup becomes stupid and worthless: everyone is a winner.
Qatar is the first country in the world to have a 100% Ai university, DHQ under the capable General Christopher Musa can establish the second Ai university in the world focusing exclusively on developing advanced Drone’s and robotics technology and Cyber security.
Investing $5m in building Advanced Ai military university (locally produced Drones, robots and solutions) making use of our brightest young boys and girls ( Ages 18-25), Ages 26 and above are too old for this particular assignment. This will keep ECOWAS presidents secured better than the one million existing conventional military and paramilitary personnel in West Africa.
‘How do we keep ECOWAS countries and presidents safe pending when we develop internal capacity from MAIU”, I can hear someone soliloquizing. We live in the age of *SECURITY AS A SERVICE*( SAAS). We can outsource it. Everything is okay save ultimatum that can beget war.

Who shall tell the ECOWAS presidents as they gather in Abuja on Thursday that there are better options than war? But they need to have balls to be able to reject the West’s war option. West Africa needs time to solve the Niger question in our traditional African way.
*Anything kinetic action can do, peace and serenity can do better*

Tim Akano

email: timkano1@gmail.com


The National Patriots


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