Following discussions between the coup leaders in Niger Republic and a delegation of Nigerian Islamic scholars led by Sheikh Abdullahi Bala Lau, a notable leader of Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa Iqamatus Sunnah (JIBWIS), it has been confirmed that the coup leaders have opted to engage in dialogue with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regarding the ongoing political circumstances in Niger.
As reported previously by our correspondent, these two factions convened in Niamey on Saturday to deliberate on the prevailing political crisis within Niger Republic. Emerging from these deliberations, Niger Republic’s Prime Minister, Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine, conveyed that General Abdourahmane Tchiani, leading the coup, has signaled his approval for discussions with ECOWAS. He expressed confidence that these dialogues will unfold in the upcoming days and expressed optimism about the eventual lifting of sanctions against the country.
Prime Minister Zeine remarked, “We have achieved mutual understanding, and our national leader has endorsed the prospect of dialogue. The delegates will now return and convey our perspectives to the Nigerian President. We anticipate that ECOWAS will visit us in the near future to discuss the resolution of the imposed sanctions.”
Additionally, a statement issued by Sheikh Lau, the leader of the Nigerian Ulamas, and shared with journalists in Abuja on Sunday, verified that General Tchiani had communicated the coup leaders’ willingness to engage in dialogue as a means to address the prevailing issue.
According to the statement, the Islamic scholars held lengthy discussions with the coup leaders, culminating in an agreement to prioritize dialogue as a means to resolve the crisis.
The statement by Sheikh Bala Lau, National Chairman of Jamatul Izalatu Bida Waikamatu Sunnah, highlighted that the intervention team from Nigeria, composed of eminent Islamic scholars, held talks with General Abdourahmane Tchiani in Niamey, where they extensively explored all aspects of the situation, including ECOWAS’s demand for the reinstatement of former President Bazoum.
“Sheikh Lau stated that they represented President Bola Tinubu and were welcomed by him to mediate. The clerics conveyed their stance to President Tinubu, who is also the Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, advocating for a dialogue-based resolution to the political deadlock in Niger.
“General Tchiani, in response, warmly welcomed the delegation’s intervention, affirming the readiness of the coup leaders to engage in diplomatic means to foster peace and find a resolution. He expressed disappointment that ECOWAS leaders had not heard their side before issuing ultimatums, and he clarified that the coup was carried out with noble intentions to avert an impending threat that would impact not only Niger Republic but also Nigeria.
“General Tchiani expressed regret for not giving the delegation, led by former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), the due consideration initially, attributing this oversight to their frustration over the ECOWAS ultimatum.
“Highlighting the deep-rooted historical and fraternal connections between the two nations, General Tchiani emphasized the shared heritage of Niger Republic and Nigeria, urging for amicable resolutions to be sought,” the statement concluded.