By: Our Reporter, Calabar
The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW), South-South Zone, has sought collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Cross River State Council, in its fight against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country.
Speaking at a courtesy visit on the leadership of the Cross River State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the South-South Zonal Coordinator of NCCSALW, Major General Ifiok Obot (retd), said the Centre, was established on 3rd May, 2021 by an Executive directive by President Muhammadu Buhari, in line with Article 24 of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons.
“It is saddled with the responsibility of eradicating the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria through stakeholders collaboration.”
“We are all witnesses to the devastation that the proliferation of small arms and light weapons has caused us in Nigeria. The establishment of this Centre could not have come at a better time.”
“In pursuing our objectives, we realize that there is no way we can operate alone, being that the focus of our operation is intelligence and advocacy. There is no way we can achieve meaningful results without cooperation and support of the media. We therefore solicit your support and collaboration as we pursue this very important assignment, the Zonal Coordinator remarked.”
In his response, the chairman, NUJ – Cross River State Council, Comrade Nsa Gill, thanked NCCSALW South-South Zone for deeming it necessary to collaborate with the NUJ in Cross River State in carrying out this important national assignment.
“We are not unaware of the devastating effect of illicit movement of arms and other weapons in our country. Day by day, we are hit by security incidents. A security threat to one is a threat to all of us. As journalists, we are trained to promote national security and interest. We will partner with you in nipping this nefarious security concern in the bud, the NUJ leader stated.”
Gill pointed out that the onerous task of eradicating illegal movement of weapons in the neighbourhood has become very urgent, especially with the general elections looming. He sued for the discouragement of election vices perpetrated by politicians with desperate and overarching ambitions.
Assuring the South-South Zonal team of his union’s readiness to partner with relevant agencies in engendering sanity and national development, Comrade Gill averred that the professional services of the media will be invaluable for the actualization of NCCSALW’s objectives.
He said “journalists in the state are replete with the expertise of strengthening advocacy, information and communication management, investigation and unraveling of issues hitherto shrouded in secrecy, as well as deepening stakeholders collaboration towards attaining the set goal of illicit arms-free environment.”