By Solomon Odeniyi
The military high command on Thursday said it had yet to get directives to begin operations in the Niger Republic.
The Defence Headquarters was reacting to news reports that the military had begun assembling troops for the military action in Niger.
The Economic Community for West African States had on Sunday imposed several sanctions on the military junta in the country and also issued a seven-day ultimatum to return power to a democratically elected government.
The ECOWAS threatened to commence military operations in the country should the junta ignore the ultimatum.
However, in a statement on Thursday, the Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Tukur Gusau, said the Defence Chiefs in the region were still meeting in Abuja and would submit their plans to the Head of Governments and States for approval.
He added that without their approval, the military cannot commence operations in Niger.
It read, “The attention of the Armed Forces of Nigeria has been drawn to an online report stating that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is assembling its forces for military action in the Republic of Niger.
“The AFN is yet to receive any order from the appropriate authority to commence military action, against the Military Junta in Niger.
“The military option was the last option to be taken in case every other option fails to reverse the situation and return the Government of the Republic of Niger to constitutional order.
“At the moment, ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff is currently holding an extraordinary meeting in Abuja to discuss the political situation in the Republic of Niger and submit their plans to the committee of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for consideration.
“In conclusion, the Armed Forces of Nigeria cannot proceed with any operation in any of the member states of ECOWAS without a mandate from the Authority of the Heads of States and Governments.”