Mohamed Bazoum, the overthrown president of Niger, and his son are being held by the leaders of the country’s coup, according to the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah.
According to the ECOWAS representative, Bazoum’s regular diet and medical care are not being provided by the junta.
Musah made this comment while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday in response to rumours of coup plotters threatening to assassinate Bazoum in the case of an ECOWAS military intervention.
“We are going there, if need be, to rescue President Bazoum who is living in very terrible conditions today. He is being denied medical attention, he’s being denied even access to his usual food,” he said.
“His son, who is also in detention, has lost so many kilos already. They are being held in these inhumane conditions and we cannot just sit back idle and depend on the goodwill of these people who are disrupting the democratic process in the country.”
Heads of State in the regional bloc came together on Thursday for an extraordinary summit held in Abuja to deliberate on approaches to end the crisis in Niger, opting to maintain the diplomatic route with military force still on the table.
“Yesterday’s communique also made it very clear that this junta will pay dearly if anything happens to the safety, security, or the physical integrity of Bazoum, his family, or members of his government. That was clearly done,” Musah said.
“We are not going to hold back because they are holding the president hostage. If they dare, if they should harm in any way, then they are going to pay very dearly for that. So, this is a tactic.”