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The Nigerian government, has put its armed forces on standby to carry out military action against the coupists in Niger Republic, if the ongoing dialogue by the Heads of Government of the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) failed.

The move was part of the ECOWAS resolution, where member states were obligated to place their armed forces on standby in case there would be a need for military action, which they stressed would be a last resort.


Also, to show a degree of seriousness with a clear message, major cities in Niger had begun to face rolling blackouts as Nigeria, on the instruction of President Bola Tinubu, had cut supplies to its northern neighbour, the country’s electricity company, Nigelec has said.

Also, yesterday, ECOWAS restated its decision to use military force to restore democratic rule in the Republic of Niger, saying failure to do so could render the regional bloc a laughing stock in the committee of democratic nations.

It however, dismissed threats by Mali, Bukina Faso and Guinea Bissau led by military regimes, who threatened war against any military action in Niger.

It claimed that the three countries were signatories to the ECOWAS protocol on democracy, adding also that, following a decision by the member states, the ECOWAS standby force would be activated to protect democracy in West Africa and fight terrorism.

Already, the Nigerian government, led by Tinubu, as Head of ECOWAS, had taken part in the dialogue by sending a high-powered delegation to discuss with the military junta.

In the same breath, the military hierarchy was in a meeting of the defence chiefs of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) yesterday in Abuja.

At the meeting where the Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, had called for “collective attention and a united response” among ECOWAS defence chiefs to restore democratic governance in Niger”, the directive to muster forces through the Defence Headquarters, leaked to the public.

The leaked document that surfaced online last night had showed in the military order an instruction for the Nigerian Army (NA), the Nigerian Navy (NN) and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to muster forces for possible deployment.

The NA was instructed to muster two battalions, the NN to assemble its Special Boat Services (the specialised tactical group of the navy likened to the Israeli navy seals), while the NAF was to provide one regiment company. The assembled troops were directed to commence movement of platforms to one of the Northern states pending the directive to enforce democracy in Niger Republic.

To that extent, the order said a ‘No Fly Zone’ would be enforced by the troops over Niger Republic, meaning all aircraft would be forbidden to fly over the conflict zone except with special authorisation.

The leaked letter has begun to cause severe unease at the DHQ given the sensitive nature of the information contained therein.

Our correspondent gathered the military has begun moves to investigate, who leaked the ‘Order Note’ and to close all loopholes in leaking sensitive documents to the public until they were declassified.

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