Nigerians living in Niger Republic have appealed to the Federal Government to facilitate their evacuation before any possible offensive against the coup plotters by the Economic Community of West Africa States’ forces to restore democracy in the tension-soaked country.
The Nigerians made the appeal so as to avoid being caught up in the line of fire and to avoid a repeat of what happened in Sudan where many Nigerian students were trapped when fighting broke out between the government forces and rebels.
The Nigerians are also apprehensive of being subjected to xenophobic attacks by Nigeriens in retaliation of Nigeria’s role in rallying other ECOWAS member states to reject the unconstitutional change in power.
ECOWAS had on Thursday resolved to deploy troops in Niger following the refusal of the military leaders to restore democracy despite the sanctions imposed on them and their collaborators by the sub-regional body.
After a meeting of the ECOWAS Heads of States and Government in Abuja, the President of ECOWAS, Omar Touray, said the bloc had directed the deployment of a “standby force” to restore democracy in Niger after the coup.
Meanwhile, Touray gave no details about the make-up, location and proposed date for the deployment of the military intervention force.