Niger coup: Military Junta agrees to dialogue with ECOWAS

Niger Republic’s military junta has agreed to dialogue with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the political crisis in the country.

Nigeria’s Intervention Team, comprised of scholars from various Islamic sects in the country, stated this in a statement on Sunday.

The team, led by Sheikh Bala Lau, met at the weekend with the coup leader, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, during which they deliberated on all the issues, including the ECOWAS’ demand to reinstate former President Bazoum.

Bala Lau, in a statement signed on Sunday, said the team was in Niger on behalf of President Bola Tinubu, who approved their request to intervene, ThisDay reports.

He, therefore, told General Tchiani 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 his response, General Tchiani, who accorded the team’s warm reception, welcomed their intervention.

He said: “Our doors were open to explore diplomacy and peace in resolving the matter. It was painful that ECOWAS leaders did not hear our side of the matter before issuing an ultimatum to quit office.”

He further claimed the coup was well intended, adding that they struck to stave off an imminent threat that would have affected not only Niger Republic but also Nigeria.

While apologising for not giving the required attention to the team earlier sent by President Tinubu, the coup leader explained that it was because they were angry about the ECOWAS ultimatum.

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