Prominent northern leaders have issued a stern caution against the proposed relocation of United States and French military bases from the Sahel to Nigeria. The warning is contained in an open letter addressed to President Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly leadership.

Those who signed the letter include Abubakar Siddique Mohammed of the Centre for Democratic Development, Research and Training (CEDDERT), Zaria; Kabiru Sulaiman Chafe, a former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, representing the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), Kaduna; Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, who is a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Jibrin Ibrahim from the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Abuja; Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani) of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CCISLAC) Abuja; and Y. Z. Ya’u from the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Kano. 

The prominent leaders highlighted concerns over potential pressure from foreign governments to sign new defence pacts allowing troop redeployment. Expressing apprehension about Nigeria’s strategic vulnerability, the leaders emphasized the risks of compromising national defence and internal security. They cited the expulsion of foreign troops from neighboring countries due to perceived ineffectiveness, questioning the efficacy of hosting such bases.

Additionally, they warned against short-term alliances that could have long-term detrimental consequences for Nigeria’s sovereignty and independence.

Highlighting the socio-economic and environmental implications, the leaders urged careful consideration before engaging in any agreements that could disproportionately impact the local population and environment.

As of now, there has been no public response from the presidency or the National Assembly regarding the concerns raised in the letter.