The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for a hastened transition period from the military junta in Niger.
ECOWAS Chairman and President, Bola Tinubu, conveyed this during a discussion with the Ulamas on Thursday. He expressed concerns over the junta’s three-year proposed transition, deeming it too long for the regional bloc. The information was relayed by Sheikh Abdulrahman Ahmad, the National Missioner of Ansar-udeen Society of Nigeria, after his interaction with President Tinubu.
Previously, the Ulamas held talks with the Nigerien junta, led by General Abdourahamane Tiani, aiming to prevent military interventions and return democratic rule. The junta’s takeover followed the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum in a coup on July 26. The junta also sought the Ulamas’ intervention to persuade ECOWAS to lift sanctions, specifically the electricity cutoff imposed on Niger.
Ahmad, acting as the spokesperson for the Ulamas, reported that President Tinubu is keen on clear commitments from the junta about the specifics and duration of their transition plan.
As for the Ulamas’ next meeting in Niamey, Ahmad mentioned that no date has been finalized. He clarified that their intervention is a private initiative, not a government-backed mission, aiming for a peaceful resolution without force.
While efforts to get a comment from the presidency were unsuccessful, President Tinubu, in a separate meeting at the State House, reiterated his commitment to a peaceful resolution and cautioned about potential reactions from external forces. He emphasized that the military’s responsibility is to protect their nation and not jeopardize its people’s wellbeing.