President Bola Tinubu says he’s been holding back other leaders of the Economic Community of West African States from executing their collective threat against the military junta in Niger Republic.
Tinubu, who hosted a delegation of Islamic scholars (Ulamas), on Thursday, urged the clerics to expedite progress in their ongoing dialogue with the military junta in order not to incur the wrath of ECOWAS.
The Ulamas had since been engaged in discussions with the military junta to facilitate the restoration of constitutional democratic governance in Niger Republic.
The Ulamas delegation to the Villa was led by Sheikh Bala Lau, who briefed President Tinubu comprehensively on the outcome of their interface with the Niger junta.
The briefing followed the Ulamas’ two most recent visits to Niger Republic.
The Islamic leaders said the military junta was open to deepening dialogue with ECOWAS as more steps are being taken to forestall armed conflict, with a more detailed acceptance of the ECOWAS position by Niger military council officials.
President Tinubu in his response to the delegation of Ulamas, against the backdrop of ethnic rumours peddled by domestic political figures inside and outside of the country, stressed that he’s in the vanguard of a peaceful resolution of the crisis among hawkish individuals urging swifter intervention.
“I am managing a very serious situation. If you take ECOWAS aside, other people will react, those who are outside of our control. I am the one holding those sides back. I am the one holding back ECOWAS,” he said.
Tinubu while addressing the urgency of the situation, added, “‘Even this morning, I have been inundated with phone calls on the readiness of countries with their military force and contributions. However, I told them to wait. I am meeting with the Ulamas and I will get back to you.”
He then told the Islamic delegation that the military junta must be held accountable for endangering the well-being and lives of the entire people of Niger Republic.
”They cannot use the gun given to them to protect the sovereignty of the country and turn it against the people of the country,” he said.