By Etuka Sunday
A non-governmental organisation, Poverty and Associated Maladies Alleviation Initiatives (PAMAI), in collaboration with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) at the weekend, urged the federal government to join efforts for the abolition of nuclear weapons in the world.
In its Nigeria Awareness Seminar/Discussion, PAMAI recognized the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons, and therefore aligned itself with a joint tatement at the Non-Proliferation Treaty preparatory committee meeting in April 2013 that, “the detonation of a nuclear device would have grave humanitarian consequences that will spread beyond national borders.”
Participants at the Seminar argued that with the increasing activities of insurgents, like Boko Haram, and the country’s uranium stock, it has become important for Nigeria to guard itself against nuclear terrorism.
They expressed fears that Nigeria has nuclear research reactor which necessitated its participation at the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), therefore adequate protection should be put in place at the reactor location so that it doesn’t get into the hands the insurgents.
Speaking, the Executive Director, PAMAI, Alhaji Aminu Shu’aibu said, “although Nigeria is not a nuclear state but it subscribed to the global call for nuclear disarmament considering the humanitarian consequences of the weapon on the civilian population and other catastrophic effects that it leaves after decades of detonation.
Shu’aibu, who was represented by Adama Muhammad said, “Human Security today is jeopardized not only by the prospect of states’ deliberate use of nuclear weapons, but also by the risks and harms arising from their production, transport and deployment. They include environmental degradation and damage to health, diversion of resources; risks of accidental or unauthorized detonation caused by the deployment of nuclear forces ready for quick launch and inadequate command/control and warning systems, and risks of acquisition and use by non-state actors caused by inadequate securing of fossil materials and warheads”.
Also speaking, the Program Manager, PAMAI, Mr. Benjamin Alutoho said,it was with the full participation of Nigeria in the international conferences on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons that the Seminar was put together to support the global initiative.
He, therefore, called on the federal government to take bold step on the continent and lead other countries to support negotiations for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Recall, several key aspects of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), have contributed to the development of a global norm against the acquisition, possession, and use of nuclear weapons.
The Treaty has clear aspirations of preventing nuclear war, stopping the nuclear arms race, ceasing the manufacture of nuclear weapons, eliminating existing arsenals, and easing international tensions and strengthening trust between states.