By Deborah Tolu-Kolawole
Former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, on Tuesday visited President Bola Tinubu in Abuja to brief him on the outcome of his diplomatic shuttle to the Niger Republic.
Abubakar who went to the Niger Republic recently as an envoy of the Economic Community of West African States met the President in the company of the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, among other officials.
Speaking with State House correspondents after the meeting with Tinubu on Tuesday, Abdulsalami noted that the visit to Niger was a fruitful one and channels for diplomacy have been opened.
While giving further details of his discussions with the President, the elder statesman said, “As you are aware, the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government have made me an envoy to Niger Republic and we were there over the weekend to see the military people and discussed to find a way out of the lacuna we find ourselves. So, that’s why I’m here this afternoon, together with the President of the ECOWAS Commission, to give a report back to Mr. President on our discussions in Niger.
“I must say that our visit to Niger has been very fruitful and that it has opened an avenue to start talking and hopefully we’ll get somewhere.”
Reacting to the Niger junta’s announcement that power will be handed over to a democratically elected government in three years, Abubakar said, “Well, like I said, we’ve started talking, they have made their own points and then I made my report to the Chairman of the ECOWAS Heads of state and President. He will now consult with his colleagues and then the ding-dong starts and we’ll get somewhere hopefully.
“Hopefully, diplomacy will see the better of this. Nobody wants to go war, it doesn’t pay anybody, but then again, our in leaders have said if all fails and I don’t think all will fail, we’ll get somewhere we’ll get out of this mess.”