Niger- Nigeria’s Intervention Team comprising prominent Islamic scholars in the country, approved by President Bola Tinubu a few days ago met with the coup leaders in Niger where both parties agreed to intensify the option of dialogue in resolving the political crisis in that country.
The Islamic Ulammas led by Sheik Abdullahi Bala Lau met with General Abdourahmane Tchiani for several hours in Niger’s capital Niamey during which they deliberated on all the issues including the demand by ECOWAS leaders that former President Bazoum be reinstated.
In a statement, sheikh Bala Lau said the team had earlier told President Tinubu who is also the Chairman of the authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government that their position is that the political impasse in Niger be resolved through dialogue.
He, therefore told General Tchiani that the visit to Niger was to engage in constructive dialogue to encourage him and other military leaders behind the coup to toe the path of peace instead of war to resolve the crisis.
Responding, General Tchiani who accorded the team warm reception welcomed their intervention.
He said their doors were open to explore diplomacy and peace in resolving the matter.
General Tchiani, however, said it was painful to the coup leaders that the ECOWAS leaders did not hear their side of the matter before issuing an ultimatum to them to quit office.
He claimed the coup was well intended, stating that they struck to starve off an imminent threat that would have affected not only the Niger Republic but also Nigeria.
He also apologised for not according to the team sent by President Tinubu led by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) the required attention because they were angry about the ECOWAS ultimatum.
While tracing the historical ties between the two nations, he said the Niger Republic and Nigeria were not only neighbours but brothers and sisters who should resolve issues amicably.