President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has again, urged the delegation of Islamic Scholars, known as Ulamas, to continue their dialogue with the military junta in Niger, to restore constitutional order, in the country.
Speaking after a closed-door meeting with President Tinubu, at the state house in Abuja, on Thursday, the leader of the delegation, Ustaz Abdullahi Bala-Lau, disclosed that the President intended to avoid the use of force to resolve the crisis in the country.
Bala-Lau stated that the President listened to their advice, to avoid the use of force, in reinstating the constitutional power, in the country.
“The president was receptive to our suggestions about avoiding the use of force by all means. Just as we have spoken to the leaders in Niger and they accepted to avoid violence, the president also accepted it.
“That is why he is sending us back to Niger to continue with the dialogue about restoring constitutional order to the country. He also directed us to remind the military leaders that there is a pending ECOWAS decision about the takeover,” Bala-Lau said.
The cleric disclosed that the intervention of the Ulamas had been positive, noting that it allowed the junta to accept the ECOWAS delegation of the retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and Sultan Abubakar Sa’ad III.
According to him, the delegation of Ulamas would be going back to Niger to continue the dialogue, saying that they also understand that war must be the last option to resolve the issue.
While speaking on the development, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Prints, said that the meeting by the president with the Ulamas was a sign of the ECOWAS’s openness to dialogue.
“As you know, the ECOWAS leaders were open to all options but still they are continuing with dialogue aggressively.
“This is a sign that the military action will be the last option. The Ulama’s involvement is a way forward.
“When you are engaged in a dialogue it’s usually a back-and-forth issue. All sides must be allowed to express themselves fully.
“Dialogue and diplomatic trading is not a one-off thing and it needs to be explored to the fullest. That is what the president is trying to do in this case,” Abdulaziz said.