The Niger Republic coup leader, General Abdourahamane Tchiani has finally met the delegation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), led by former Military Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
The delegation met with Prime Minister Ali Lamine Zeine who received them at the airport on Saturday, August 19, 2023.
The meeting reportedly lasted about 90 minutes after which they met with President Mohamed Bazoum and General Abdourahamane Tchiani, head of the coupists who ousted him.
A previous effort by ECOWAS delegation also led by Abdulsalami failed.
Tchiani later apologised when some Nigerian clerics met with him last Tweekend, saying he did not meet the delegation out of anger.
Saturday’s visit came after ECOWAS military chiefs announced they were ready to intervene to reinstate the ousted president.
ECOWAS has agreed to activate a “standby force” as a last resort to restore democracy in Niger.
Meanwhile, after the meeting with Abdulsalami-delegation, Tchiani stated that the army will hand over power to the civilian government within the next three years.
He said within a month, the junta will form a committee to study and form the new constitution of the country.
While he maintained that Niger does not want to go to war, the General said the county will defend itself if the need arises.
He, however, added that the door for negotiation was still open.
ECOWAS is yet to react to the speech of the junta leader but Abdulsalami is expected to brief the regional bloc on the outcome of the meeting.