President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has dispatched a delegation to the Niger Republic with a mandate to expeditiously resolve the current political impasse in the country.
In a statement confirming the development, Ajuri Ngelale, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, said the president’s action was in line with the resolution reached at the end of the extraordinary summit of the ECOWAS held last weekend in Abuja. President Tinubu is the chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
The delegation, headed by Abdulsalamai Abubakar, Nigeria’s former head of state, left for Niamey on Thursday after a briefing by President Tinubu at the State House, Abuja.
The former Nigerian leader is joined in the delegation by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III and Omar Touray, president of the ECOWAS Commission.
The president had also sent a separate delegation led by Babagana Kingibe to engage with the leaders of Libya and Algeria on the Niger crisis.
Briefing the two delegations, Tinubu charged them to engage all stakeholders with a view to doing whatever it takes to ensure a conclusive and amicable resolution of the situation in Niger for the purposes of African peace and development rather than a move to adopt the geopolitical positions of other nations.
“We don’t want to hold brief for anybody. Our concern is democracy and the peace of the region,” the president said.
Speaking after the meeting, Abdulsalami Abubakar assured that the delegation would meet the coup leaders in Niger to present the demands of the ECOWAS leadership.
Both leaders of the two missions expressed optimism about the outcome of the assignments.
Recall that the regional body, ECPWAS had on Sunday, passed a resolution to impose sanctions on the landlocked West African country over the recent disruption of the country’s democracy with the imposition of a military junta led by the former Presidential Guards commander, Abdourahmane Tiani who declared himself as the new leader of Niger after the dramatic coup.
Tiani, who hails from Filingue, in the region of Tillaberi, which borders Mali, had earlier served as military attache at Niger’s embassy in Germany and had been the leader of the elite presidential guard unit since 2011.