From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

A delegation of Nigerian Muslim leaders led by Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, yesterday, met with President Bola Tinubu in Abuja to brief him on their dialogue with the military junta in Niger Republic on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

President Tinubu, chairman of the ECOWAS’ Authority of Heads of State and Government, approved the Ulamas’ return to Niger Republic for another round of dialogue with the military junta led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani.

After the meeting with President Tinubu, Sheikh Bauchi spoke to State House Correspondents and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to meet with the President. He also emphasised the Ulamas’ commitment to peaceful and amicable dialogue with the military junta in Niger Republic to achieve peace in the region.

Sheikh Bauchi called for fervent prayers from the entire community across the region to ensure peace and harmony continue to reign.

Sheikh Bauchi said: “First and foremost, we thank Allah for giving us the opportunity and we appreciate and commend the efforts of His Excellency the President and as you saw, we have just met with him and told him all what went on there in Niger and he appreciated and he still have us the mandate that we should continue to make this dialogue and discuss with the junta over there, because they gave us listening ears and we are sure, through peaceful discussions we’ll be able to achieve what we want.

“We are still going back there to ensure that through peaceful and amicable ways, as spiritual leaders, we’ll be able to do and contribute what we can be able to do.

“What we want? We don’t want war, we want peace to reign in our region. So may Allah continue to bless the President for giving us this opportunity.

“We want serious and fervent prayers from the entire community, across the region so that Allah will grant us that, so that peace and harmony will continue to reign. Without peace and harmony, there’s nothing we can do, we can’t even enjoy the dividends of democracy and you cannot even practice your religion. I’m optimistic, Insha Allah, with this intervention, Allah will answer our prayers.”

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Malagi, confirmed that the Ulammas have briefed Mr. President on the situation, and the effort was still ongoing.  He said President Tinubu was interested in exploring peaceful options in this matter, but nothing is off the table.

“Mr. President has listened to them and they’ll continue this dialogue. Mr President is interested in exploring peaceful options in this, but nothing is off the table. He has asked the Ulammas to continue with their dialogue and they will continue to do that.”

Asked what next, the minister replied:  “The next line of action is that dialogue will continue. Mr President as the head of ECOWAS is interested in pursuing resolution of this crisis, but like I said, nothing is off the table. Mr. President has said they should continue to engage and the Ulammas will continue to do that. By the way, he has appreciated their efforts to finding solution to this issue, he’s encouraging them to continue. He has thanked them and efforts are ongoing.”