The leader of the new military junta in Niger Republic, General Abdourahmane Tchiani has apologized to Nigeria for not according attention to the General Abdulsalami Abubakar peace team which was sent to Niamey by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the coup that had generated controversies across the West African subregion and beyond.
The new Niger Republic strong man, who spoke when some Nigerian Islamic Ulammas, led by Sheik Bala Lau, met with him for several hours in Niger’s capital Niamey, said that he shunned the
team sent, led by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar “because we were angry about the ECOWAS ultimatum.”
General Tchiani said that it was painful to the coup leaders that the ECOWAS leaders did not hear their side of the matter before issuing ultimatum to them to quit office.
He claimed that the coup was well intended, saying that they struck to stave off an imminent threat that would have affected not only Niger Republic but also Nigeria.
General Tchiani who accorded the team warm reception, however, welcomed their intervention, adding that the doors were open to explore diplomacy and peace in resolving the matter.
The General traced the historical ties between Nigeria and Niger, saying that Niger Republic and Nigeria are not only neighbours but brothers and sisters who should resolve issues amicably.
The peace team, which comprised prominent Islamic scholars Nigeria, convinced the leader of the military junta to agree to intensify the option of dialogue in resolving the political crisis in that country.
Sheikh Bala Lau, who is the National Chairman of Jamatul Izalatu Bida Waikamatu Sunnah, said the that clerics were in Niger on behalf of President Bola Tinubu who accepted their request to intervene.
Sheik Lau said that the team had earlier told President Tinubu, who is also the Chairman of Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government that their position is that the political impasse in Niger be resolved through dialogue.
He 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.
Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, another member of the intervention team and Chief Missioner of Ansarudeen Society of Nigeria, Sheik Ahmad Abdulrahman, said that contrary to reports in some sections of the media, the team was well received by General Tchiani and both parties had fruitful discussions.
“We will now go back home and report to President Tinubu what we have discussed and press it on him that war is not an option in resolving the matter.
“We believe that war is an ill wind that will not blow any good and that peaceful resolution should prevail.”
The team comprised scholars from various Islamic sects in the country.
Among them were Sheik Kabiru Gombe-Secretary,
Jamatul izalatul bida waikamatul sunnah,
Sheik Yakubu Musa Hassan Katsina-Director Daawah, JIBWIS, Sheik Ibrahim Dahiru Bauchi- Rep Sheik Ibrahim Bauchi and Dr Khalid Aliya- Secretary General, Jammatul Nasril Islam.
Others included Sheik Karibullah Nasiru Kabara- Leader Khadriya group Nigeria, Sheik Ahmad Abdurahman, Professor Salisu Sheri- Deputy Secretary-General Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Sheik Nasiru Abdul Muhayuid- Director Admin, JIBWIS Jos, Professor Mansur Sokoto, and Alhaji