General Abdourahmane Tchiani, leader of the Niger junta, has said the military had to overthrow the government of Mohammed Bazoum to forestall disaster in Nigeria.
Tchani said the putschists saved Nigeria from impending catastrophy by seizing power.
Sheik Bala Lau, Chairman of Jam’atul Izalatu Bida Waikamatu Sunnah said Tchiani made the disclosure during the junta’s meeting with Nigerian delegation of clerics in Niamey, Niger’s capital, on Saturday.
According to Daily Trust, Islamic scholars who met President Bola Tinubu at the presidential villa in Abuja on Friday headed for Niger.
According to Sheik Lau, Tchiani claimed the coup was well intended, adding that “they struck to starve off an imminent threat that would have affected not only Niger Republic but also Nigeria”.
The junta head wasn’t clear as to what the purported threat to Nigeria was as the statement did not quote him to have gone into details.
But his claim came after the Defence Headquarters said some persons were goading the military to overthrow Nigeria’s government.
The Director, Defence Information, Tukur Gusau, a Brigadier-General, had said there were schemes from different quarters to instigate members of Armed Forces of Nigeria to overthrow the present democratic administration being led by President Bola Tinubu.
According to him, the military would continue to perform its constitutional duties rather than plotting any coup against the present democratic administration, saying the armed forces of Nigeria would not be distracted.
“The reports calling on the military to interfere in our democracy is highly unpatriotic, wicked, and an attempt to distract the Armed Forces of Nigeria from performing its constitutional responsibilities,” the senior military official said.
The team that visited Niger comprised scholars from various Islamic sects in the country.