Niger’s military leaders have agreed to dialogue with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc following a meeting with the bloc’s delegation team from Nigeria.
The team approved by Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, made up of notable Islamic scholars led by Sheik Abdullahi Bala Lau, the national chairman of the Jama’atu Izalatul Bidi’ah wa Ikamatus Sunnah movement in the country, came out of the meeting stating that the coup leaders stance on crisis resolution was amicable.
While dialoguing with the junta leader, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, Balalau maintained that the visit to Niger was to engage in constructive dialogue to encourage him and other military leaders behind the coup to toe the path of peace instead of war to resolve the crisis.
In response, General Tchiani, who spoke on behalf of other coup members, declared their willingness to welcome peaceful diplomacy from the ECOWAS.
Nevertheless, he showed the junta’s disapproval of the initial ECOWAS move of stipulating an ultimatum for power restoration without any attempt to look into the root of the matter.
In addition, he expressed his heartfelt regret for the unwelcome hosting given the earlier delegation team of the Nigerian President led by Gen. (Rtd.) Abdulsalami Abubakar, stating that the anger of the ultimatum threat was at its peak at the time.
“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,” Gen. Tchiani stated.