Niger Coup: Detained President Bazoum  Lives  Without Electricity, water; Terrorists Let Loose On Nigeria    

By Lateef Adegbite

 In spite of efforts by the Authority of Heads of State and government of the Economic Community of west African States, ECOWAS, to restore the democratically elected government of deposed President Mohammed Bazoum, the Niger junta is still holding him hostage in the Presidential Palace without electricity and running water.

The former Niger Republic President was said to have cried out to the international Community that the junta is keeping him, wife and son including some of the arrested ministers ‘’ in cruel and inhuman condition. He was said to have made the regional bloc, particular, to know that the junta had ensured that there is no running water, electricity supply for them, let alone have access to doctors’’ to attend to their depreciating health SINCE July 26, 2023.

  The former  Niger President’s cries may have got to the hearing of Antonio Guterres , the United Nations, UN,  Secretary General, who  was said to have expressed his concern  about the reported  deplorable conditions of  the former President Bazoum of Niger  and his family members in the hands of the junta who had put them  in custody , calling  for his’’ immediate , unconditional release and his reinstatement  as the  authentic Niger Republic Leader’’.    

Gen.Tchiani” Niger New Military Leader

Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani,   the Niger Republic new military  Leader  may have sent a message to the ECOWAS Leadership and the UN, Secretary General  that they should  forget about the deposed President Bazoum being restored to his Seat   as the junta  has formed a new  government  which included 21  ministers  led by one  Ali Mahamane, as the interim Prime Minister and who will also serve as the country’s  minister of Economy and Finance.

The announcement of the new Niger government as a replacement for the toppled Bazoun’s government  was said to have come  a day after  the junta , in a bid to win the heart  of the people,  hadaccused France , the former Colonial power,  of ‘’violating  the country’s airspace , attacking a military camp and freeing terrorists’’, thus letting them loose.

The political situation in Niger is so bad that   Rhisa Ag BOULA, a- one’’ time minister in Niger had announced the formation of a new anti-coup group aimed at ‘’reinstating deposed President Bazoum to power.  The former minister   had said that the new anti-coup group, ‘’the Council of Resistance   for the Republic’’, CRR, would use any means ‘’to stop the military takeover of Niger’’.

The Launch of the Niger ant-coup resistance movement  many have come as  diplomatic efforts  to reverse  the coup  appeared stalled  after the putschists  rejected  the latest  diplomatic  mission  and  the coup Leaders  of neighbouring  Mali and Burkina Faso ,  which had backed the army takeover in Niger , appeal to the UN, to prevent any military hostility by ECOWAS, force.   

Many see the former rebel Leader and Politician anti-coup movement in Niger Republic as the first major sign  of internal  resistance  to  Army  rule  in the strategically  important neighbouring   Sahel  country  to Nigera, the most populous country in the African continent.

 There are indications that  the former Niger government minister anti-coup movement ,  CRR, are likely going to work closely with  the ECOWAS intervention force  and other international actors  seeking  to restore Constitutional order  in Niger The Niger Republic born  politician   was said to have promised to make  himself  available  to the regional body  for  any useful purpose that will help to oust the junta from power in Niger and reinstate deposed Presient Bazoum, still in military custody.  

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The regional bloc had met on Thursday, August 10, 2023, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, at the instance of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Chairman and President of Federal Republic of Nigeria. The meeting was said to have  come on Wednesday , August 9, 2023, a day  after the junta had met  with Lamido Muhammad Sanusi, a former governor Central Bank of CBN, who incidentally was the deposed  Emir of Kano  and Abdusalmi Abubakar, a prominent  traditional ruler from northern Nigeria,  on how to improve understanding between the parties

  The duo who were said to have the Gen. Tchiani, the Niger coup Leader were said to have vowed ‘’to do their best to bring the two warring parties for political control of the West African country together to improve understanding. ‘’This is the time for public diplomacy’’, Sanusi, the deposed Emir of Kano had said.  

The Authority of Heads of States  and Government  of the 15-member  ECOWAS  appear to have lost their patience with the Niger coup Leaders as the Economic bloc had declared at its meeting last Thursday in Nigeria that ‘’the resort to military hostility to remove the Niger Republic  junta remained on the table’’. The ECOWAS Leaders may have ropped a hint that the military hostility, is no longer Negotiable as the Niger coup Leaders are not ready to bend 

The Nigerian President, who doubles as the Chairman of ECOWAS, which has the support of the AU, has pledged ‘’to enforce all the financial  sanctions imposed on Niger  which include   financial transactions  through the CBN, on entities  and individuals  related to  or involved  with the military  junta in Niger Republic.

 Note that the Central Bank of the West African States, BCEAO, had already   frozen relations with the Niger Central Bank following the military takeover in the country on July 26, 2023.  The West African Economic and Monetary Union, AEMU, for which the BCEAO, is the Central Bank, was aid to have ordered the freezing of the country’s accounts at the BCEAO, and commercial banks in the region on July 30, 2023.

 The Authority of Heads of States and Government of the ECOWAS, may have taken  another bold step to force the Niger Republic  coup Leaders  to reinstate  detained President Bazoum   as it was said to have  ordered’’ closure of Land and air borders between the member countries of the economic bloc and Niger  as well as impose ‘’travel bans  on those  preventing  the return  to power  of democratically  elected  President Bazoum’’.

The Nigerian government had cut off electricity supply to the neighbouring Niger as part of measures to force the Niger junta to reinstate deposed President Bazoum but that was how far the government could go..

 The new Niger military Leaders  believe that the Nigerian government which  is championing the economic  sanctions against the  country  as well as the regional bloc planned military  hostility against the country may have given room for the terrorists operating   in the north western  states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina,  and the north central state of Niger including the north eastern states of Borno and Yobe  where  the Islamic Funadamentalist Group, BokoHaram  and he Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP,  intensify their attacks. 

The recent statement by Dikko Rada, governor of Katsina state, believed to be under pressure from different quarters to discuss with the bandits to restore peace in the state speaks volume.  ‘’I will not Negotiate with the terrorists in the state’’, governor Rada had said.

Speaking  during  a special prayer  session  organised by the government  ‘’to seek  divine intervention  against insecurity   amidst   the economic hardship  facing  the state , the governor was said to have made it clear to the unrepentant  local terrorist and  their foreign collaborators in other parts of the Sahel region   that the state has no plans  to grant amnesty  to terrorists’, urging them to lay down their  arms  if they are  ready ‘’to embrace peace’’ .

The situation in the former President Muhammadu Buhari home state is not different from what is happening in  Borno state  where the  Joint  Task Force, Operation  Hadin Kai, OPHK, were said to be hard on the terrorists.  The OPHK, troops were said to have successfully ambushed   the die- hard BokoHaram fighters along Kuka , a known crossing point between Nigerian  and Chad for the terrorists  in the state .

Onyema Nwachukwu, a Major General, and Army spokesperson,had said that the OPHK troops could achieve the feat  because of their strategic positioning in the area which  was said to have   allowed them to engage  the unsuspecting  BokoHaram members  in an intense fight with much casualties on their side.

Given the situation in Niger Republic where the terrorists in the country appear to have been let loose with the military takeover may have informed  why the soldiers are on the red alert  to crush any attack at  any flashpoint location in any part of the country.  

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