- The coup leaders in Niger Republic have maintained that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum will not be reinstalled to power
- General Abdulsalami Abubakar, one of the team leads of the ECOWAS envoy, disclosed this after meeting with Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine
- Meanwhile, the efforts of the ECOWAS to resolve the ongoing impasse have not yielded favourable fruits as the Niger junta has maintained a firm footing on their soil
General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), who led the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) delegation, has shared the discussions he had with the military leaders in Niger Republic.
As shared on X (formerly known as Twitter) by Imran Muhammad @Imranmuhdz, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen Abubakar, in his meeting with Niger Junta was told that the issue of returning President Mohamed Bazoum into power won’t work.
“He said the coup has happened successfully and President Bazoum has been ousted. So, the issue of returning him to power won’t work. He asked ECOWAS to focus on things that would better the lives of people of Niger and avoid the topic of returning Bazoum to power. He insisted that they can discuss every other thing freely, but that returning him to power should be avoided because it won’t work.”
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Speaking further, the former Nigerian leader, in an interview with the BBC News Africa, said the junta noted that it might take three years to return the country to democracy.
“It’s even better now that they are speaking unlike in the beginning of things that they never uttered a word nor allowed opportunity for dialogue.
"However, the information on three years time for return to democracy was contained in the report of the meeting that we presented to President Tinubu.”
Niger junta lists demands
General Abubakar lists the junta's demands below, adding that they made a plea to the ECOWAS through his delegation.
He opined thus:
"Yes, they appealed that the closed borders be reopened so that food and drugs, as well as other essential commodities can enter the country, stressing that, even in war situations, food and drugs, and other essential items are always allowed to enter into the troubled country not to talk of Niger that is not in war situation.
"They also requested that electricity be restored to the country by Nigerian government to enable socio-economic activities thrive.”
Niger coup leaders didn't expel Nigerian Ambassador
In a piece of related news, Legit.ng reported that the military government in the Niger Republic reacted to the report that it ordered German, United States (US) and Nigerian ambassadors to leave the country.
The coup leaders denied the widely circulated reports, stating that only the French ambassador, Sylvain Itte, was ordered to leave the country. Thus, it ruled the reports false.
Tinubu speaks on external forces against Niger
Legit.ng also reported that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu revealed that he was under pressure to deploy the use of force against the military junta in the Niger Republic.
The Nigerian leader stressed his commitment to a peaceful resolution in solving the issue as the chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States.