National Missioner, Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheik Abdurrahman Ahmad made it clear that President Bola Tinubu did not send them to Niger, but rather, the Ulema went to the president to seek leave to intervene. “It was our initiative; it was not at the behest of the government; rather, we asked the government for leave to intervene because we are anti-war and we felt our intervention would douse tension and bring hope to those who are afraid that war could break out.” He said the president granted them leave to intervene in Niger, which they did.”
In an Interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, Sheik Ahmad said they arrived to a good reception in Niger and were met at the airport by the prime minister, the Ulema (the Islamic scholars all over Niger), and the military Junta. He further stated that they had a frank discussion with the military junta, and the Ulema explained their desire to avoid any escalation of the current situation.
Ahmad said the Nigeriens were very happy with their visit, as they saw it as an answer to their prayers because they do not want war themselves. They apologized next for the way they treated the earlier ECOWAS delegation and the former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, and they further asked them to convey the apology of the government and people of Niger to the government and people of Nigeria. They also expressed their readiness to dialogue with the leadership of ECOWAS.
Sheik Ahmad says he believes there is an attempt to de-escalate the situation, especially between the new government in Niger and the leadership of ECOWAS. “They have assured us that they are going to make contact, and I believe that they have started making contacts. And if the news coming from the ECOWAS Secretariat is anything to go by, we are sure that there is going to be de-escalation as the decision to send in the standby forces has been suspended indefinitely.”
He concluded by saying that all this progress gives great hope that there will be a peaceful and amicable resolution and that there will be no war at the end of the day. After all, war is not in the best interest of Niger or the entire ECOWAS region. “We don’t want to be drafted into a proxy war, and we don’t want to fight our brothers.”