A wave of confusion has gripped Niger Republic following conflicting reports regarding the expulsion of Mohamed Usman, the Nigerian ambassador to the country.
According to initial reports on Friday, Niger’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement indicating the expulsion of Ambassador Usman and several Western diplomats. The ministry cited Ambassador Usman’s failure to respond to an invitation for a discussion, alongside alleged actions by the Nigerian government against Niger’s interests. The statement provided a 48-hour ultimatum for Ambassador Usman to leave Nigerien territory, mirroring similar actions taken against diplomats from Germany and France.
However, a subsequent statement from the same foreign affairs ministry contradicted the earlier memo. The second statement dismissed rumors circulating on social media about the expulsion of the Ambassadors of Germany, Nigeria, and the United States, asserting that only the French Ambassador was declared persona non grata. The ministry emphasized Niger’s sovereign authority to take such actions without needing external authorization.
Reports suggest that the Nigerian embassy in Niger was taken aback by the news of Ambassador Usman’s expulsion. Sources indicate that the military junta, which ousted President Mohamed Bazoum’s government a month ago, was embarrassed by the confusion caused by the conflicting reports. This apparent lack of coordination among the current ruling authorities prompted the foreign affairs ministry to release the counter statement in an attempt to clarify the situation.
The conflicting statements have left both Niger and Nigeria grappling with uncertainty over the status of the Nigerian Ambassador, reflecting a complex diplomatic scenario that underscores the challenges faced by the involved parties.