Mohammed Usman, Nigerian ambassador to the Niger Republic, has denied reports that the military junta prohibited President Bola Tinubu’s jet from flying in its airspace.
The military junta in Niger was said to have asked the plane conveying Tinubu, who had just returned from the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, to leave the country’s airspace.
The president’s plane was reportedly “pursued” out of the landlocked country, and was said to have been at risk of being shot down.
The alleged hostility from the junta was said to be linked to the position of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) — chaired by Tinubu — on the recent coup in the country.
When contacted over the allegation, the ambassador countered the claims and described it as fake news.
“It is not true,” he said in a terse response to TheCable.
Tinubu returned to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Friday, one week after he attended the 78th UNGA from September 18 to 26.
During one of the sessions, Tinubu voiced concerns about foreign exploitation in Africa and rising insecurity and asked other nations to offer solutions of mutual benefit.
The UNGA session was his first as Nigeria’s president.
Although there was no official statement, multiple reports said the president departed New York for Paris, France for a short vacation.