President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday, revealed that his leadership is using “back-channel strategies” to avoid the shedding of blood in the Niger Republic.
Tinubu, who received the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Catherine Colonna, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, noted that the situation in the Sahel region since the military takeover, needs to be well-managed, as Nigeria shares a border with Niger which stretches across seven states.
This was made known in a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.
He said, ”I am deploying all appropriate back-channel strategies to avoid bloodshed in the Niger Republic. We recognize the wishes of our people; they do not want war, but that does not mean we can not take bold and decisive action.
”We have a colleague and a democratically-elected leader, President Bazoum, being used as a human shield. If we are not careful, he and his family can be endangered.
“Leadership is about responding to the needs of the people; their cries, and their frustrations. Nigeria shares a border with Niger across the expanse of seven Nigerian states, and most of these states are very populated. Therefore, I need to guide ECOWAS carefully and steadily so that we manage our anger carefully.”
On his part, Tinubu added that Nigeria, with the intervention of international partners, is determined to see a peaceful resolution to the situation in the Niger Republic.
The French minister conveyed the goodwill of President Emmanuel Macron and expressed the readiness of France to expand mutually beneficial collaboration with Nigeria across multiple sectors.
She proceeded to extend a formal invitation to Tinubu to attend the forthcoming Paris Peace Forum.