Sanusi Meets Junta Leaders in Niger; Briefs Tinubu


As Heads of States of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), meet in Abuja to deliberate on the military junta in Niger Republic, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the 14th Emir of Kano, met with the coup leaders in Niamey, the capital of Niger.

Emir of Kano’s meeting with the coup leaders came as Niger’s former rebel leader launched an anti-coup movement which was seen as the first sign of internal resistance in the country.

This was as the French government denied accusations by Niger’s new military rulers of freeing “terrorists” and violating the country’s air space.

Sanusi met with the military leadership after the junta aborted a meeting with representatives of the AU, ECOWAS, and a top US diplomat.

It was also reported that a delegation raised by ECOWAS, and led by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar(retd), could not broker peace with the military rulers as they declined a meeting.

But Sanusi, whose Tijjaniya sect has a large following in Niger, met with the junta leaders in the company of the Sultan of Damagaran. Damagaran is the third largest city in Niger. It was gathered that Sanusi went there to open doors for negotiation with the junta.

“His Highness took the trip in his personal capacity but with the knowledge of President Bola Tinubu, following his concerns about the impasse and the likely consequences it is already having on Nigeria/Niger relations and the citizens of the two countries.” One of the sources said.

Sanusi said he was in the Nigerien capital, Niamey, to hold mediation talks with the military leader, General Abdourahamane Tchiani. “We have spoken to the head of state, the new strongman, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, and will deliver a ‘message’ to Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu,’’ said Sanusi, adding that he is not an agent sent by the government.

Sanusi, who is known to be a close friend of Tinubu, a former governor of his home state of Lagos, also said: “We came hoping that our arrival will pave the way for real discussions between the leaders of Niger and those of Nigeria.”

Also worthy of note is the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum(SMBLF), under the leadership of South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, is against the use of military means to get the illegal government in Niger Republic out of power. The Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs(NSCIA) also advised ECOWAS against the use of sanctions on Niger, encouraging them to go for dialogue instead.

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