Nigeria's Muhammad Sanusi II held a "private" meeting with Niger's Abdourahamane Tchiani in Niamey on August 9. Photo: TRT Afrika

Muhammad Sanusi II, the former Emir of Kano in northern Nigeria, has met Niger coup leader Abdourahamane Tchiani, who declared himself Niger’s transitional president following the ouster of Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.

Sanusi II met Tchiani in Niger’s capital Niamey on Wednesday, TRT Afrika understands.

The meeting was “private", a source privy to the happenings said.

Speaking on Nigerian state television, Sanusi II said his discussion with Tchiani focused on what needs to be done to peacefully resolve the leadership crisis in Niger.

“We have spoken to the head of state", he said, referring to the new Nigerian transitional leader, Tchiani.

'Deliver message to Tinubu'

Sanusi II said he will deliver a “message” to Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who is also the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The former leader of Kano, however, said he was not an “emissary of the Nigerian government.”

“We came hoping that our arrival will pave the way for real discussions between the leaders of Niger and those of Nigeria," Sanusi said.

Tinubu has said diplomacy is “the best way forward” to resolve the crisis in Niger, even as ECOWAS emphasises that military intervention still remains an option.

UN, ECOWAS denied access

Sanusi II’s access to Tchiani comes on the back of failed attempts by the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to meet with Tchiani in efforts to resolve the leadership crisis in Niger.

Sixty-two-year-old Sanusi II served as the 14th Emir of Kano between June 2014 and March 2020.

He is influential in northern Nigeria and the neighbouring Niger. An emir is a chieftain or independent ruler who has power over a province or region.

TRT Afrika