The Head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation to the Niger Republic, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, said on Tuesday discussions with the country’s military junta on the resolution of the political crisis was fruitful.
He stated this in a chat with State House correspondents after submitting a report on their visit to Niger to President Bola Tinubu.
Abubakar, who was accompanied on the trip to the State House by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Touray, said the sub-regional body would continue to explore all options in the ongoing efforts at resolving the political crisis in the landlocked West African country.
He said the ECOWAS delegation met with the military junta in Niamey on Saturday and discussed the amicable resolution of the imbroglio.
He said: “As you are aware, the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government have made me an envoy to Niger Republic and we were there over the weekend to see the military people and discussed to find a way out of the lacuna we find ourselves.
‘’I must say that our visit to Niger has been very fruitful and that it has opened an avenue to start talking and hopefully, we’ll get somewhere.”
Abubakar said the delegation also presented the junta’s three years transitional plan to Tinubu who would table it before ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.
‘’Well, like I said, we have started talking, they have made their own points and then I made my report to the Chairman of the ECOWAS Heads of State and President.
‘’He will now consult with his colleagues and then the ding-dong starts and we’ll get somewhere hopefully,’’ the former Nigerian leader added.
On the demand for dialogue instead of military options for the resolution of the crisis, the envoy insisted that ECOWAS leaders still want to employ diplomatic options.
“Hopefully diplomacy will see the better of this. Nobody wants to go to war. It doesn’t pay anybody, but then, our leaders have said if all fails and I don’t think all will fail, we’ll get somewhere and we’ll get out of this mess,” he concluded.
The ECOWAS delegation met with the leader of the military junta, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, and discussed ways out of the crisis arising from the July 26 coup that ousted President Mohammed Basoum.
The team also met Bazoum who reportedly complained of poor medical attention since he was put under house arrest alongside members of his family last month.
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