After shunning high-powered delegations from African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) including a top United States (US) diplomat, the leadership of coup plotters in Niger Republic granted audience to dethroned Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi II, who urged them to restore the democracy in the country.
Sanusi used the influence of his Tijjaniyya sect which is the largest in the coup-torn country to broker peace talks with the military junta.
Even though outcomes of the meeting were yet to be disclosed, portraits of Sanusi alongside Sultan of Damagaram including the coupists surfaced on social media last night.
Sources told Daily Trust that Sanusi went there to open the door for negotiation with the junta but with the knowledge of Nigeria’s president Bola Tinubu.
“His Highness took the trip in his personal capacity but with the knowledge of President Bola Tinubu following his concerns about the impasse and the likely consequences it is already having on Nigeria/Niger relations and the citizens of the two countries,” said one of the sources.
WikkiTimes recalled that a delegation raised by ECOWAS including Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar, former Military Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar could not broker peace with the military rulers as they restricted to the airport where low-ranking members of the military junta dialogued with them.
Also, Tinubu, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS, had scheduled a meeting today Thursday after the 7-day ultimatum that the regional bloc issued for the reinstatement of Bazoum elapsed.
SANUSI BRIEFS TINUBU
Upon his return yesterday, the 14th Emir of Kano briefed Tinubu. He noted that efforts are underway to restore normalcy.
His words: “Interventions are ongoing and we’ll continue to do our best to bring the two parties together to improve understanding.
“This is a time for public diplomacy, it’s not a matter that we leave to governments. All Nigerians and Nigeriens need to be involved to find a solution that works for Africa, for Niger, for Nigeria, and for humanity.
“I was not sent by the government. Government officials were aware I was going but it was my personal initiative, using my personal contacts to get there and I will continue to do my best. It is my duty as a leader to do that.”
The regional organization had slammed sanctions on Niger and threatened possible military option, a move that was widely rejected, especially in Nigeria.