President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday received a delegation of Nigerian Muslim leaders, led by Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, and accepted their mediation in the Niger coup by engaging the head of the Nigerien military junta, Abdourahamane Tchiani.
Mr Tchiani is the president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) following the illegal overthrow of the government of President Mohamed Bazoum.
The leaders were at the State House to consult with the president on the situation in the Republic of Niger. Mr Tinubu had on Tuesday declared that all options were still open to find an amicable resolution to the Niger political crisis.
Speaking to journalists earlier, Sheikh Bala Lau said the delegation pledged to find a lasting and peaceful solution in Niger.
“The delegation of ulama here in Nigeria met with Mr President on the issue of Niger Republic. We want to find a lasting solution. We want peace and harmony to reign not only in Nigeria but in the sub-Saharan region and globally,” stated Mr Lau. “So, the whole ulama advised Mr President that we want peace and reconciliation.”
Mr Lau stressed that “if there is anything that happens between you and your neighbour, the Holy Qur’an commands you to reconcile. So, we want reconciliation.”
“That’s why we’re here, and our able leader and president accepted the offer that he wants us to intervene and to talk to our brothers over there in Niger Republic, the scholars as well, on how we can come together and bring a lasting solution to this problem,’’ Mr Lau explained.
Sheikh Abdurrahaman Ahmed confirmed that Mr Tinubu accepted their offer to mediate in the Niger imbroglio, adding that the mediation will start soon.
Mr Ahmed said the Nigerian leader also accepted that they speak with the military junta in Niger to give concessions to find common ground between it and ECOWAS.
“Other than that, the president deplored coup d’état in the Sahel region and, as a democrat himself, said he will do everything to ensure that there is democracy, justice, freedom and peace in the sub-region,” noted Mr Ahmed. “We as ulama are also committed to peace and justice, and the president will be enabling the Ulamah to mediate as it is appropriate.”
He described their visit to the Presidential Villa as “a mission accomplished” because the president “responded positively and in turn, he has given us an assignment to also mediate to ensure reconciliation between the warring factions in Niger Republic.’’
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, dethroned emir of Kano, on Wednesday, met with Niger Republic coup leader Abdourahamane Tchiani.
In the company of others, Mr Sanusi, the spiritual leader (Khalifah) of the Tijaniyah Islamic movement in Nigeria, met with Mr Tchiani in Niamey, the capital of Niger.
On July 26, soldiers from Niger’s presidential guard ousted Mr Bazoum and closed the country’s borders.
While the ECOWAS member states, minus Mali and Burkina Faso, agreed on several resolutions against the military junta, another round of financial sanctions was imposed on Tuesday on entities and groups associated with the junta.