President Bola Tinubu has approved the return of a delegation of Islamic leaders (Ulama) to Niger Republic for another round of dialogue with the coup leaders.
Tinubu in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) made the decision after a meeting with the top clerics led by Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi who were recently in Niamey, the Niger Republic capital, two weeks ago for dialogue with the junta led by General Abdourahamane Tiani.
The group of Islamic leaders recently offered to interface with the coup leaders in the Niger Republic on behalf of ECOWAS and got the approval of the president.
Speaking to state house correspondents after the meeting, the minister of information and national orientation, Muhammed Idris said that President Tinubu remains committed to a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Niger which is why he has asked the Islamic leaders to continue the dialogue with the military junta leaders.
TRKUP: MUHAMMED IDRIS
MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND NATIONAL ORIENTATION
TRKUP: SHEIKH BALA LAU
LEADER OF THE ULAMA DELEGATION TO NIGER
Since the junta seized power from President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, 2023, ECOWAS had imposed sanctions on Niger in response to the coup and has not ruled out using force against the army officers.
They subsequently interacted with the junta’s head, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, in Niamey.
Recall that the ECOWAS had taken steps to show its disapproval of the military takeover in Niger by imposing a series of sanctions and an ultimatum.
The Ulama, who are opposed to war with the Nigerien military as threatened by ECOWAS, said that apart from the dire consequences of armed conflict, they were enjoined by their religious faith and the Quran to seek mediation in cases like this before resorting to war.