The leader of the military junta in the Republic of Niger, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, has revealed that the action of the military group, which resulted in the ousted President Mohammad Bazoum, was well intended and orchestrated to avert an imminent threat that would have affected not only the country but also Nigeria.
Tchiani who disclosed during the dialogue between the country’s military group and Nigeria’s delegation of Islamic schoolers, said it was painful to the coup leaders that the Economic Community of West African States, Heads of State and Government leaders did not consult them before issuing ultimatum to quit office.
However, the military leaders and the Nigerian team agreed to intensify the option of dialogue in resolving the political crisis in the country.
According to a statement the leader of the Islamic Ulamma, Sheik Bala Lau, General Tchiani, who accorded the team warm reception, also welcomed their intervention.
“The military leader said their doors were open to explore diplomacy and peace in resolving the matter.
“He apologised for not according to the team sent by President Tinubu led by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd) 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,” Sheik Lau said.
The statement further explained that the Islamic Ulammas met with General Tchiani for several hours in Niamey, Niger’s capital, where they deliberated on all the issues including the demand by ECOWAS leaders, that President Bazoum be reinstated.
According to the National Chairman of Jamatul Izalatu Bida Waikamatu Sunnah, the clerics were in Niger on behalf of President Bola Tinubu, who accepted their request to intervene in the crisis.
Sheik Lau disclosed that the team had earlier told President Tinubu who is also the Chairman of Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, that their position is that the political dilemma in Niger, be resolved through dialogue.
He however told General Tchiani that the visit to was to engage in productive dialogue, to encourage him and other military leaders behind to toe the path of peace, instead of war resolving the crisis.
While speaking with journalists in Niamey after the meeting, a prominent Islamic scholar, who was also a member of the intervention team, Chief Missioner of Ansarudeen Society of Nigeria, Sheik 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 dialogues.
“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,” Sheik Abdulrahman said.
The team comprised scholars from various Islamic sects in the country, among who were Sheik Kabiru 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 of Khadriya Group Nigeria, Sheik Ahmad Abdurahman, Professor Salisu Sheri- Deputy Secretary-General of Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Sheik Nasiru Abdul Muhayuid- Director Admin, JIBWIS Jos, Professor Mansur Sokoto, and Alhaji Mele Kyari.