Restore Power To Niger Republic, I Learnt Over 40 Babies Die In Hospitals, Incubators Daily, Fani Kayode Appeals To Tinubu

The crisis in Niger Republic began on July 26 when a faction of the country’s military toppled the democratically-elected government of President Mohamed Bazoum.


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Aformer aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has called on President Bola Tinubu’s administration to restore power to Niger Republic following the negative impact the power cut is having on the people of the country.

The crisis in Niger Republic began on July 26 when a faction of the country’s military toppled the democratically-elected government of President Mohamed Bazoum.

The coup was swiftly condemned by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which imposed sanctions on the new regime and called for the restoration of constitutional order.

Niger Republic depends on Nigeria for 70 per cent of its electricity supply generated from the Kainji Dam. Nigeria also cut the power supply to its neighbour, insisting that the military junta should reinstate Bazoum as president.

In a piece titled ‘Does Killing Nigerien Babies Bring Glory to Our Name?’, Fani-Kayode lamented reported deaths of innocent babies and other humanitarian issues resulting from the power cut

According to him, he heard from a friend who was once Nigeria’s Ambassador to a European country that about 40 babies die daily in the crisis-ridden country because hospitals are unable to power their incubators and other life-support equipment.

He called on President Tinubu, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS to reverse the policy and restore electricity to the Niger Republic.

“A dear and respected friend of mine who was once our Ambassador to a European country, who has relatives and strong links in and with Niger Republic and who is well versed in security and intelligence matters told me that up to 40 babies are dying each day in Niger as a consequence of our cutting off electricity supplies to them,” he said.

“According to him, these babies die in hospitals and incubators across the country as a consequence of the fact that there is no electricity supply and there is no fuel to power their generators.

“This was confirmed by one Dr. Abdoul Djibou, a Nigerien medical practitioner, in an interview with

“According to a source in Niger Republic, Dr. Abdoul Djibou, there have been reports from Dosso Regional Hospital and Cominak Hospital about the recent spike in infant mortality. According to him, over 40 babies die daily in Niger since the Nigerian government cut off electricity supply to Niger and also closed its borders. It has affected hospitals badly as they’re unable to power their incubators and other life-supporting equipment to assist these babies. He also mentioned that the closed borders have made it nearly impossible for hospitals to access petroleum products especially Diesel and petrol to power their plants and generators.

“This is aside from the untold hardships that the general populace is grasping with in Niger. He has made a passionate appeal for the Nigerian government to reconsider its decision even though backed by the ECOWAS. He stressed the need for the Nigerian government to remember that the people of Niger are more like an extension of northern Nigeria.

“In his opinion, he believed strongly that the ongoing negotiations with the Junta leaders will yield results and stressed the need for the negotiations to be intensified instead of beating the drums of war and upholding the current stiff sanctions that have now crippled the economy and the health sector especially” ( Coup Sanctions On Niger Republic Causes Untold Hardship/Starvation/Death).”

The piece by the former minister reads in part, “I cannot possibly confirm the veracity or accuracy of these assertions and reports but if they are anywhere near the truth, it is enough to prick anyone’s conscience.

“Furthermore, I doubt that our President, being a humane, rational and reasonable leader, would have allowed this to happen if he was aware of the harsh and cruel consequences of the ‘cut off all electricity to Niger’ policy and that is precisely why it is important to bring it to his attention in this article.

“Quite apart from that, according to UNICEF, ‘more than two million children have been affected by the crisis and are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance’ and millions of dollars worth of vaccines for polio and other dangerous diseases cannot be safely preserved or stored due to power outages.”

“How can we as a nation inflict such damage and unleash such wickedness and misfortune on innocent people who live just across the border from us and who are essentially our people too?

“This is unacceptable and especially so given the fact that we are not at war with Niger and the overwhelming majority of our people regard them as our brothers.

“This begs the question: is this the way to treat our African neighbours and brothers even whilst we lay claim to seeking and preferring a diplomatic solution to the crisis? Methinks not!

“If our claim and intention is to better the life of these people by insisting that they must have a democratically-elected Government and by resisting a military one is our purpose truly served by killing the children of the very same people that we claim we want to help?”

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