Nigeria soldiers will, on Wednesday (today), arrive at a base of the Economic Community of West African States troops in Senegal to ensure that President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia steps down on Thursday, January 19.
Nigerian warship, NNS UNITY, is also heading for the coast of The Gambia to join the operation.
The Punch learnt from a top military source in the Nigerian Air Force that the troops would be briefed by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in the early hours of Wednesday, before leaving for Senegal.
It was gathered that apart from the NAF and the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Army would also contribute troops, although the number of deployment could not yet be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.
The source said some of the NAF fighter jets were expected to airlift the troops.
He said, “I can confirm to you that men of the Air Force will leave for Senegal tomorrow (Wednesday). They will be briefed by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at the Kainji base in Niger State.
“That Nigeria is deploying troops is now a certainty after several meetings with The Gambian president yielded no result. The Chiefs of Defence Staff of ECOWAS countries came to Abuja on Saturday, where they discussed what components each member state is expected to contribute to the troops that will force Yahya Jammeh out.
“The troops are expected to stay for two weeks and they will be received at a base in Senegal.”
Another military source added, “The NNS Unity is currently sailing off the coast of Ghana, after leaving from Lagos. It is not only Nigeria. Senegal is the host country for the troops, as it would be easy to launch an attack from there.”
The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, however, said it could not confirm the deployments, adding that it was a matter being coordinated by political leaders.