June 17, 2024

Nigeria’s influencial traditional leader, Lamido Sanusi, meets Niger junta head in Niamey

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Nigeria’s former central bank governor and former Emir of Kano, met Niger’s military coup leader in Niamey on Wednesday in an attempt to resolve the political impasse that has pitched the West African country against the world.

The coup commander, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, met the Nigerian envoy for the first time after ignoring others, including one from the West African regional bloc Ecowas, citing security concerns.

Gen Tchiani has previously ignored Nigeria’s religious leader, Sa’ad Abubakar III, as well as US Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and multiple African Union and UN delegations.

Sanusi confirmed that he had spoken with Gen Tchiani and would give a “message” to Ecowas chairman, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu.

The former governor of Nigeria’s apex bank added that the meeting with the head of the junta would pave the way for genuine discussions between the leaders of Niger and Nigeria.

Mr Sanusi is considered influential because he is the spiritual leader (Khalifah) of the Tijaniyah Islamic movement in Nigeria, which has millions of followers throughout West Africa, including Niger.

Mr Sanusi was accompanied on the visit by the Emir of Damagaram in Zinder, in the Maradi

The visit to Niamey is coming at a time when Ecowas heads of state prepare to meet in Nigeria’s capital Abuja to discuss the next steps after Niger’s military junta failed to obey a deadline to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

 

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