The National Center for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW), the northeast zonal office, had on Monday paid a courtesy call to the Executive Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Borno state.
Head of the NCCSALW, Rear Admiral Abdulrahim Mohammed Shuwa, accompanied by top officials of the zonal office was received by the Chairman of the NUJ, Comrade Dauda Iliya, his Vice Chairman, Comrade Abdulkareem Haruna, and other top members of the Exco.
The visiting head of the NCCSALW Northeast zonal office disclosed that the NUJ is the first organization he would be visiting outside the military sector since his arrival to the sub-region.
Rear Admiral Shuwa (retired) said his mission to NUJ was to introduce the federal organization to the working journalists and to forge a collaborative working relationship with the union as critical partners to the attainment of the NCCSALW core mandate.
The retired Rear Admiral informed the NUJ leaders that the establishment of the NCCSALW was in line with the requirements of Article 24 of the ECOWAS Convention for The Establishment of SALW Commissions by all 15 member states in their efforts to eradicate the proliferation of SALW in the region collectively.
“Thus, the NCCSALW is mandated to lead a multi-stakeholder process involving MDAs and civil society organizations in the
implementation of all national, ecowas, and un plans of action on the control of SALW.
Rear Admiral Shuwa thereby noted that the agreement informed the establishment of Nigeria’s six zonal centers in Ado-Ekiti Calabar, Enugu, Kaduna, Minna, and Maiduguri by the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA)
The visitors took time to lead the NUJ officials through a PowerPoint presentation on core mandates and mission of the NCCSALW.
The Small Arms Control chieftain noted that “when conflicts end or subside, small arms remaining in circulation may lead to additional violence and suffering since fighting can resume or conflicts may erupt in neighboring regions,” he said.
He emphasized, “when small arms and light weapons are not mopped up in non-conflict areas, they could easily be used in perpetrating criminal violence or may be used in homicides, suicides, robbery.”
Quoting a 2007 small arms survey, Rear Admiral Shuwa said there are about 875 million small arms worldwide, produced by 1,200 companies in 90 countries that produced SALW.
“SALW has killed between 500,000 and 750,000 people annually,” he said.
He emphasized that the success of the NCCSALW cannot be guaranteed without the media’s full cooperation
In his response on behalf of the over 180 working journalists in Borno, Comrade Iliya thanked the NCCSALW Zonal coordinator and his team for the cherished visit, even as he said the NUJ would visit them soon.
Comrade Iliya, however, assured the visitors of the fullest participation of the NUJ in the activities of the Center, noting that everyone is aware of the menace of small arms and how its prevalence in Borno state has inflicted untold adversity on the state, its people, and their socio-economic activities.
Highlights of the event were the presentation of souvenirs and the taking of group photographs.