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NIGER: Tinubu again sends Islamic leaders to dialogue with junta

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu has again allowed the return of an Islamic mission (Ulamas) to Niger Republic for another round of talks with the coup leaders.

Tinubu announced the decision today following a meeting with prominent clerics led by Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, who were in Niamey, the capital of Niger Republic, two weeks ago for talks with the junta commanded by General Abdourahamane Tiani.

Tinubu made the decision as Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Responding to the delegation of Ulamas, and against the backdrop of ethnic rumors spread by domestic political figures both inside and outside the country, the President emphasized that he is at the forefront of a peaceful resolution of the crisis, even as more hawkish individuals call for more immediate intervention.

“I am managing a very serious situation. If you take ECOWAS aside, other people will react, those who are outside of our control. I am the one holding those sides back. I am the one holding back ECOWAS,” he disclosed.

Addressing the urgency of the situation, the President added, ”Even as at this morning, I have been inundated with phone calls on the readiness of countries with their military force and contributions. However, I told them to wait. I am meeting with the Ulamas and I will get back to you.”

Tinubu told the Islamic delegation that the military junta must be held accountable for putting the entire people of Niger Republic in jeopardy.

”They cannot use the gun given to them to protect the sovereignty of the country and turn it against the people of the country,” he said.

He pledged that ECOWAS remain steadfast in its commitment to diplomatically engage with all stakeholders and seek a peaceful resolution to the impasse in Niger Republic.

“I will draw a line in the sand and ask you to make arrangements to go back to Niger Republic,” he stated.

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