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Niger Crisis: ECOWAS Sends Islamic Clerics On Second Mission

August 25, 2023

Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has sent a delegation of Islamic scholars (Ulamas) to expedite progress in their ongoing dialogue with the military junta in Niger Republic.

Tinubu asked the Islamic clerics who were previously engaged in discussions with the military junta to facilitate the restoration of constitutional democratic governance in Niger Republic.

The president received a comprehensive briefing at the presidential villa in Abuja from the Ulamas, who were led into a meeting with the president by Sheikh Bala Lau.

According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, the briefing followed the Ulamas’ two most recent visits to Niger Republic.

The Islamic leaders had informed the president that the military junta was open to deepening dialogue with ECOWAS, as more steps are being taken to forestall armed conflict with a more detailed acceptance of the ECOWAS position by Niger military council officials.

Responding to the delegation of Ulamas against the backdrop of ethnic rumors peddled by domestic political figures inside and outside of the country, President Tinubu maintained that he is at the forefront of a peaceful resolution of the crisis, even in the midst of more hawkish individuals urging swifter 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.”

President 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.

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

On the request by the Islamic scholars for the federal government to monitor the distribution of palliatives to states, the president promised that more palliatives are coming for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) nationwide.

He also appealed to State governments to ensure transparency and accountability in the distribution and management of these palliatives.

Courtesy:Punch

 

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