ECOWAS Sanctions: Nigeria cuts off power supply to cities in Niger Republic | #NwokeukwuMascot
A number of cities in Niger Republic are currently experiencing prolonged blackouts after Nigeria cut its power supply to the neighbouring West African country.
According to Nigelec, an electricity company in Niger, the development followed an emergency meeting by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) where sanctions, including freezing utility services, were imposed on the Niger Republic over its coup.
The cities of Niamey, Maradi, and Zinder each experienced approximately one hour of electricity before it went out for approximately five hours. This is considered unusual in the Niger Republic, which typically has a dependable electricity supply.
Niger Republic is heavily dependent on Nigeria for most of its electricity supply.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria declined to comment on the Niger power cuts when asked by the press. However, an anonymous source revealed to the BBC that the electricity supply to Niger was cut on Tuesday based on a presidential directive.
On Sunday, West African leaders gave the military junta one week to relinquish power or face potential military intervention.
ECOWAS defense chiefs also met in Nigeria to discuss the crisis in Niger and determine the most effective resolution.
Niger's democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, was ousted in a military coup last week by presidential guards.
General Abdourahmane Tchiani, the chief of the presidential guards, was installed as the head of state. The coup sparked several demonstrations against the country’s former colonial power, with the French embassy coming under attack in the country.
France responded by evacuating its citizens from the country. About 262 French citizens evacuated from Niger Republic arrived in Paris early Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a delegation from ECOWAS is meeting in Niger on Wednesday to hold talks. The delegation is led by Nigeria’s General Abdulsalami Abubakar, who oversaw Nigeria’s transition from military rule to democracy in 1999.
Another notable delegation member reportedly includes the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar III, who also wields huge influence in the Niger Republic.
The country joins Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso as countries currently under military rule.