Nigeria, Niger Coup Leaders Reach Agreement.

Byline: Mohammed Bello Doka,
Abuja Network News.

 Niamey, Niger - In a significant step towards resolving the political crisis in Niger, Nigeria's Intervention Team composed of prominent Islamic scholars held a crucial meeting with coup leaders over the weekend. Both parties agreed to prioritize dialogue as the preferred approach to tackle the situation.

Led by Sheik Bala Lau, the Islamic Ulammas engaged in extensive discussions for several hours with General Abdourahmane Tchiani in Niger's capital city, Niamey. The agenda included addressing the demand made by ECOWAS leaders for the reinstatement of former President Bazoum.

Sheik Lau, who serves as the National Chairman of Jamatul Izalatu Bida Waikamatu Sunnah, stated that the delegation was present in Niger following the request of President Bola Tinubu, who also chairs the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government. President Tinubu acknowledged their plea for intervention and endorsed their mission.

The team conveyed their position, previously expressed to President Tinubu, which firmly advocated for a resolution of the political impasse through dialogue. Thus, their visit to Niger aimed to engage in constructive conversations, encouraging General Tchiani and other military leaders involved in the coup to pursue peace rather than resorting to war in resolving the crisis.

Expressing gratitude for the warm reception, General Tchiani welcomed the intervention of the Nigerian scholars. He emphasized the willingness of his team to explore diplomatic solutions and peace-oriented approaches to address the matter at hand.

However, General Tchiani conveyed the coup leaders' discontentment with ECOWAS leaders, as they were disappointed that their side of the story was not taken into account before the ultimatum was issued, demanding their immediate relinquishment of power. He asserted that the coup was prompted by a genuine concern to counter an imminent threat not only to Niger Republic but also to Nigeria.

Additionally, he extended his apologies for not according the team sent by President Tinubu, led by former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), the proper attention, explaining that they were angered by the ECOWAS ultimatum.

Highlighting the historical and brotherly relations between the two neighboring nations, General Tchiani stressed the importance of amicable resolutions to resolve any conflicts.

Following the meeting, Sheik Ahmad Abdulrahman, another member of the intervention team and Chief Missioner of Ansarudeen Society of Nigeria, addressed journalists in Niamey. He clarified that despite the contrary reports in certain sections of the media, General Tchiani warmly received the team, and both parties engaged in fruitful discussions.

Sheik Abdulrahman stated, "We will now return home and report our discussions to President Tinubu, stressing that war is not a viable option in resolving this matter. We firmly believe that war breeds destruction and that a peaceful resolution must prevail."

The intervention team consisted of scholars representing various Islamic sects in Nigeria, including Sheik Kabiru Gombe-Secretary of Jamatul Izalatul Bida Waikamatul Sunnah, Sheik Yakubu Musa Hassan Katsina-Director Daawah of JIBWIS, Sheik Ibrahim Dahiru Bauchi- Representative of Sheik Ibrahim Bauchi, Dr Khalid Aliya-Secretary General of Jammatul Nasril Islam, Sheik Karibullah Nasiru Kabara-Leader of Khadriya group Nigeria, Sheik Ahmad Abdurahman, Professor Salisu Sheri-Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Sheik Nasiru Abdul Muhayuid-Director Admin of JIBWIS Jos, Professor Mansur Sokoto, and Alhaji Mele Kyari.

Signed by:
Sheik Bala Lau
August 13, 2023

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