APA-Niamey (Niger) – Hama Amadou, a former president of the National Assembly and leader of the main opposition party, MODEN/FA Lumana, returned to Niamey on Tuesday from Paris, where he has been in exile on medical grounds for almost two years.
By Aboubacar Yacouba Barma
The former prime minister arrived in Niamey where he was greeted by a handful of his party’s supporters and activists. Following the July 26 coup, Amadou announced his intention to return to his country after several months of medical exile in Paris, France.
In an interview with Opinion Internationale, Amadou denounced “the extremely unfriendly sanctions imposed by ECOWAS” and argued that “the situation in Niger has evolved in a way that gives the opposition better prospects”.
Twice Prime Minister, from 1995 to 1996 and then from 1999 to 2007 under Tandja Mamadou’s MNSD Nassara, before founding his own party, MODEN/FA Lumana, Hama Amadou was Mahamadou Issoufou’s main ally in 2011 and became President of the National Assembly until 2013.
He then became the main opponent of the PNDS Tarrayya regime after the so-called “imported babies” affair, for which he was sentenced to one year in prison. After making it to the second round of the 2016 presidential election against Issoufou Mahamadou while on remand in Filingué prison, he was rejected by the Constitutional Court for the 2021 elections because of his criminal record.
He then decided to support former Head of State Mahamane Ousmane, candidate of the RDR Tchendji, who reached the second round of the presidential election that year against Bazoum Mohamed of the PNDS Tarrayya, Issoufou Mahamadou’s successor.
After the post-electoral violence of February 2021, Hama Amadou was again arrested and transferred to the civil prison of Filingué, about 100 km from Niamey. He was then given special permission to go to the American hospital in Paris for treatment.
At a press conference last week, the transitional Prime Minister, Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine, announced a series of measures to reduce tensions, particularly in favor of political prisoners, which could benefit Mahamadou Issoufou’s main opponent.