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Tinubu Embraces Diplomacy to Resolve Political Niger Crisis

President Bola Tinubu appears to have softened his stance against the leaders of the military coup in Niger, with the administration appearing to back efforts to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the ongoing political crisis.

Tinubu hosted former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, who has stepped in as a mediator; and is believed to have approved moves by major Islamic groups in the country to broker a truce.

Sanusi’s adept political maneuver involved discussions with General Abdourahmane Tchiani, the military ruler of Niger Republic, and a subsequent meeting with President Bola Tinubu. The goal is to navigate the complex political landscape through negotiations rather than resorting to military action.

Sanusi’s timely intervention preceded a significant Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of States meeting scheduled for today. During this meeting, proposals for a one-year military transition led by the junta followed by a general election will be considered. This proposal, aimed at preventing bloodshed, is among several suggestions under review.

In a notable diplomatic development, key leaders of major Islamic groups in Nigeria have engaged with President Tinubu. These leaders secured Tinubu’s approval to engage their counterparts in Niger in a bid to find a constructive resolution to the political turmoil.

Tinubu has extended his support for Islamic groups to engage with the military junta responsible for the ousting of Niger Republic’s democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum.

Following a meeting with the President at the presidential villa in Abuja, prominent Ulama representatives emphasized the importance of reconciliation and peace. Sheikh Bala Lau of the Izalla group and Sheikh Abdurahman Ahmad of Ansar ud Deen, along with leaders from other sects, stressed their commitment to mediating conflicts according to their religious beliefs and the Quran’s teachings.

Sheikh Bala Lau stated, “We want peace and harmony to reign not only in Nigeria but in the sub-Saharan region and globally. The Ulama advised Mr. President that we want peace and reconciliation.”

This sentiment was echoed by Sheikh Abdurrahaman Ahmed, who noted that President Tinubu welcomed their intervention and expressed his dedication to democracy, justice, freedom, and peace within the sub-region.

Former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, played a pivotal role in the diplomatic efforts. After his meeting with General Tchiani in Niger’s capital, Niamey, Sanusi briefed President Tinubu on his visit.

As the diplomatic negotiations progress, stakeholders remain optimistic that peaceful resolutions can be achieved both in Niger and the wider sub-Saharan region. The commitment of leaders, coupled with mediation efforts and diplomatic engagement, holds the promise of fostering stability, development, and harmony.



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