The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), has thrown its weight behind the actions taken so far by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union on the Coup in Niger Republic.
The High Commissioner of Namibia to Nigeria and the Dean of the SADC, H.E. Humphrey Geiseb, disclosed this on Thursday while speaking with journalists at Hope of Survival Ophanage Home, Abuja where the SADC donated food items to orphans as part of activities to mark the organisation’s anniversary.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Abdel-Fatau Musah had earlier on Thursday said the bloc was ready to intervene militarily in Niger should diplomatic efforts to reverse a coup there fail.
Niger military officers deposed President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26 and have defied calls from the United Nations, ECOWAS, and Western powers to reinstate him, prompting West African heads of state to order the standby force to be assembled.
Dean of the SADC, Geiseb, when asked about the take of the bloc on the situation in Niger, said the Southern African region is mostly peaceful, adding that: “We hold regular elections and democracy is very strong in our region.”
The envoy, however, said the Southern Africa region is part of the African Union, pointing out that whatever happens in other regions of the African continent indirectly affects SADC.
“Southern Africa is part of the African Union and the concerns and feelings about the situations of coups as expressed by ECOWAS which is a regional body just like the Southern Africa Development Community, and equally by the African Union.
“So, we are fully behind the statements and positions of ECOWAS and the African Union,” he said.
Speaking about the decision to visit the orphanage, he said the SADC wanted to provide succour to the orphans and also demonstrate the enduring friendship between the Southern African countries and the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We came to celebrate with the orphanage here by making official donations.
“This is our way of honoring the Southern Africa Development Community as well as the Federal Government of Nigeria which has supported strongly the liberation struggle of Southern Africa.
“Today, our sub-continent is free and independent. Many of our countries can recall that the Federal Republic of Nigeria has strongly supported us during the dark days of colonialism.”
The items donated, which are worth N3 million, included bags of rice, jerrycans of cooking oil, and other food items.
While commending the SADC for the gesture, Mrs. Ruth Ibrahim, proprietress of the orphanage home, said the gifts would go a long way in helping her to feed the 75 children under the care of the home.
She, however, called for assistance in paying the school fees of the children in the orphanage home, stressing that it had been difficult for the management to cope with the high cost of education in the country.