As Heads of States of the Economic Community of West Africa States, ECOWAS, meet in Abuja today to take a position on the military junta in Niger Republic, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, 14th Emir of Kano, yesterday met with the coup leaders in Niamey, the country’s capital.
Sanusi’s meeting with the coup leaders came as Niger’s former rebel leader launched an anti-coup movement in the first sign of internal resistance in the country.
This is even as the French government yesterday rejected accusations by Niger’s new military rulers that it freed “terrorists” and violated the country’s air space.
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF, under the leadership of South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, also kicked against the adoption of military means to force the illegal government in Niger Republic out of power.
The Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA equally advised ECOWAS against sanctions on Niger, saying dialogue would work better.
Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, met the military leadership after the junta aborted a meeting with representatives of the African Union, AU, ECOWAS, and a top US diplomat.
A delegation raised by ECOWAS, led by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, retd, could not broker peace with the military rulers as they declined a meeting.
But yesterday, footage of Sanusi, whose Tijjaniya sect has a large following in Niger, went into circulation.
Sanusi met the junta leaders in the company of the Sultan of Damagaran.
Damagaran is the third largest city in Niger.
It was gathered Sanusi went there to open doors for negotiation with the junta.
Sanusi said he was in the Nigerien capital, Niamey, to hold mediation talks with the military leader, General Abdourahamane Tchiani.
Shortly after returning from Niger Republic, Sanusi met last night with President Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He arrived the Villa at about 8:25pm immediately after a high delegation of the Nigeria Islamic Ulama met with the President.
Asked about his visit to Niger, the former Emir said, “I came to brief him on the details of my discussions with leaders of Niger.“
In a related development, a former rebel leader and politician in Niger, Rhissa Ag Boula, has launched a movement opposing the junta that took power in a July 26 coup.
According to AFP, this is a first sign of internal resistance to army rule in the strategically important Sahel country.
Boula said in a statement yesterday that his new Council of Resistance for the Republic, CRR, is aimed at reinstating ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, who had been in detention at his residence since the takeover.
SOURCE: VANGUARD NEWSPAPER