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Niger coup leaders agree dialogue with Nigeria’s intervention team


Nigeria’s intervention team comprising prominent Islamic scholars in the country have met with the coup leaders in Niger Republic where both parties agreed to intensify the option of dialogue in resolving the political crisis in the West African nation.

The Islamic scholars led by Sheikh Bala Lau met with General Abdourahmane Tchiani for several hours in Niger’s capital, Niamey, on Saturday, August 12, 2023, during which they deliberated on all the issues including the demand by ECOWAS leaders that President Mohamed Bazoum be reinstated.

Lau, who is the National Chairman of Jamatul Izalatu Bida Waikamatu Sunnah, in a statement issued on Sunday, August 13, said the clerics were in Niger on behalf of President Bola Tinubu who accepted their request to intervene.

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, however, told 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, Tchiani said their doors were open to explore diplomacy and peace in resolving the matter.

He, however, said it was painful to the coup leaders that the ECOWAS leaders did not hear their side of the matter before issuing ultimatum to them to quit office.

General Tchiani stated that the coup was well intended, stating that they struck to starve off an imminent threat that would have affected not only Niger but also Nigeria.

He also apologised for not according the team sent by Tinubu led by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), the required attention, saying they were angry about the ECOWAS ultimatum.

While tracing the historical ties between the two nations, he said Niger Republic and Nigeria were not only neighbours but brothers and sisters who should resolve issues amicably.

Speaking with journalists in Niamey after the meeting, another member of the intervention team and Chief Missioner of Ansarudeen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Ahmad Abdulrahman, said contrary to reports in some sections of the media, the team was well received by General Tchiani and both parties had fruitful discussions.

Abdulrahman said: “We will now go back home and report to President Tinubu what we have discussed and press it on him that war is not an option in resolving the matter.

“We believe that war is an ill wind that will not blow any good and that peaceful resolution should prevail.”

The team comprised scholars from various Islamic sects in the country.

Among the Islamic scholars were Sheik Kanuri Gombe – Secretary, Jamatul izalatul bida waikamatul sunnah; Sheik Yakubu Musa Hassan Katsina – Director Daawah, JIBWIS; Sheik Ibrahim Dahiru Bauchi – Rep Sheik Ibrahim Bauchi; and Dr Khalid Aliya – Secretary General, Jammatul Nasril Islam.

Others included Sheik Karibullah Nasiru Kabara – Leader Khadriya group Nigeria; Sheik Ahmad Abdurahman; Prof. Salisu Sheri – Deputy Secretary-General Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs; Sheik Nasiru Abdul Muhayuid – Director Admin, JIBWIS Jos; Prof. Mansur Sokoto; and Mele Kyari who represented President Tinubu.

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