The ECOWAS delegation, under the leadership of former Nigerian military leader Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retired), encountered difficulties in meeting with the military junta in Niger Republic on Saturday.
According to reports, the delegation, which included Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, journeyed to Niger with the intention of engaging in fresh discussions with the military administration led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani.
Nonetheless, the delegation was welcomed by Prime Minister Ali Lamine Zeine, while the anticipated meeting with General Tchiani did not materialize. Instead, the ECOWAS representatives engaged in discussions with a representative from the troubled West African nation. These talks reportedly lasted for approximately 90 minutes, as reported by BBC Hausa.
Though unconfirmed rumors of a coup by the Niger Republic’s presidential guard have surfaced, the exact reasons for the delegation’s inability to meet with the junta remain unclear.
It’s worth recalling that during a previous instance, the ECOWAS delegation led by Abdulsalami also faced obstacles in meeting both the coup leader and President Mohamed Bazoum.
After a meeting with Nigerian clerics last weekend, Tchiani expressed remorse, mentioning that they had declined to meet the delegation due to their feelings of anger.
General Tchiani emphasized his disappointment with ECOWAS for imposing sanctions and establishing a deadline for them to relinquish power without first attempting to hear their side of the story.
Tchiani also acknowledged that, despite their initial resentment, he had extended an apology to President Bola Tinubu.
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