COUP: We struck to avert threat against Nigeria, Niger — Gen Tchiani

Leader of the military junta in the Republic of Niger, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, says the coup in which they overthrew President Mohammad Bazoum was well intended and carried out to avert an imminent threat that would have affected not only the Niger Republic but also Nigeria.

General Tchiani said it was painful to the coup leaders that the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Heads of State and Government leaders did not hear their side of the matter before issuing an ultimatum to them to quit office.

While tracing historical ties between the two nations, Tchiani said Niger Republic and Nigeria are not only neighbours but also brothers and sisters who should resolve issues amicably.

Speaking when he received Nigeria’s intervention team, comprising prominent Islamic scholars in the country in Niamey, the coup leader and the Nigerian team agreed to intensify the option of dialogue in resolving the political crisis in his country.

In a statement by the leader of the Islamic Ulamma, Sheik Bala Lau, General Tchiani, who accorded the team warm reception, welcomed their intervention.

Bala Lau, National Chairman of Jamatul Izalatu Bida Waikamatu Sunnah, said the clerics were in Niger on behalf of President Bola Tinubu who accepted their request to intervene.

Sheik Lau said the team had earlier told President Tinubu who doubles as Chairman of Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government that their position was that the political impasse in Niger be resolved through dialogue.

He, therefore, told General Tchiani that the visit to Niger was to engage in constructive dialogue to encourage him and other military leaders behind the coup to toe the path of peace, instead of war, to resolve the crisis.

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