By CHINEDU ASADU
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Regional mediation efforts to reverse the coup in Niger collapsed as soon as they started. Tensions are escalating as Sunday’s deadline nears for possible military intervention by other West African countries. This would be the first time in years that the regional bloc known as ECOWAS would try to forcefully put down a coup. There are fears that any fighting in the event of a military intervention will not be limited to Niger’s capital. And with neighboring Nigeria leading the intervention, that could distract its overstretched military from the difficult fight against armed groups at home.