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Tinubu Sends NSCIA To Niger For More Talks

President Bola Tinubu has again sent the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to Niger Republic for more talks.

Gatekeepers News reports that Tinubu stressed that the option of military intervention in Niger will not be considered until all diplomatic options are exhausted.

Tinubu said this on Thursday while receiving the leadership of the NSCIA at the State House.

This was according to a statement released by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.

While addressing the NSCIA delegation led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar, the president appreciated the council for its efforts in leading dialogues with Niger’s military junta.

Tinubu said the forceful removal of the democratic government in the country remains “wholly unacceptable”.

The president, who is also the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), noted that military intervention is not off the table, but added that it was a situation that would rather be avoided.

The statement quoted the president as saying, “I must thank you for your several visits to Niger Republic, Your Eminence, but you will still have to go back.

“My fear has been confirmed in Gabon that copycats will start doing the same thing until it is stopped. We are neighbours with Niger Republic, and what has joined Nigerians together with their great people cannot be broken.

“Nobody is interested in a war. We have seen the devastation in Ukraine and Sudan. But, if we don’t wield the big stick, we will all suffer the consequences together.”

The President explained that Nigeria under former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, instituted a nine-month transition programme in 1998 which was successful and led the country into a new era of democratic governance.

The statement read further, “Your Eminence, please don’t get tired, you will still go back there. The soldiers’ action is unacceptable. The earlier they make positive adjustments, the quicker we will dial back the sanctions to alleviate the sufferings we are seeing in Niger.”

The Sultan of Sokoto had been part of an ECOWAS delegation to Niger led by Abdulsalami to negotiate with the country’s military junta.

However, the meeting was unproductive as the Niger junta declined entreaties by the delegation, stressing that it would hand over power in three years but ECOWAS rejected the proposal.

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