ECOWAS Member States have been urged to implement sound practices of Peace, Security and Stability Mandate (PSSM) so as to achieve development at all levels.
The Chairman Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Ambassador Emmanuel Imoh, who stated this at the meeting of the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons holding in Abuja, also said that without peace and security, there cannot be development in the region.
The meeting of the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, which has the theme ‘‘Towards Updating Stake Holders on Developments at Regional and National levels relating to Small Arms and Light Weapons Policies, programs and opportunities” provided a platform to share information on developments at the regional, continental and international scenes as well as exchange of experiences relating to the implementation of the ECOWAS convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).
Ambassador Emmauel Imoh, said that the issue of accountability can only be achieved when there is better Peace, Security and Stability Mandate (PSSM). “The focus of PSSM could not have come at a better time, from time to time the respective counties countries where faced with the situation where by we have to continually contend with synergy of weapon from a government stock part. We believe that sound PSSM practice is internalized by all of us, and implemented by our respective countries will stand in respective countries in good stem in the management of self-keeping of the national stock ballot weapons and revolution”.
He added that partnership among member states should be strengthened to ensure peace and security on the regions. “In addition to threat of terrorism at this time, we also have to contend with the issue of violence and killer Herds men not only in Nigeria, because the situation has been showing up in other parts of our sub region .we are talking about a threat that is not only sub regional in character, but also transnational informed and no one country these days, no matter how strong is able to by itself deal with the kind of threat done by transnational criminals. Is for this reason that I wish to commend ECOWAS and Small Arms division for creating and maintaining this platform that enables us as respectively national Commission to share ideas and benefit from vital lesson from other countries with the sub region”.
Also the Director Peacekeeping and Regional Security, Dr. Cypriaque Agnekethom, emphasized the need for more synergy in handling the affairs of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the region.
“we will remember that some years ago, herdsmen accompanied their cattle with only sticks, but today, in place of these sticks, they possess light arms that they use to ensure the security of their cattle.
This presents us with the question of how they manage to get these weapons, not just in one country but in all of our countries. So the issue of the acquisition and possession of weapons by civilians arises particularly the legislative framework and how we implement them if we have the effective and permanent legislative framework on the matter.
Mr. Cypriaque, explains the measures ECOWAS has taken to address the issue of insecurity in the continent. “it is to recalled that in compliance with the 1990 Decision of Head of State and Government, ECOWAS Member States created the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons with the role of coordinating the fight against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. The national commissions meet annually under the auspices of ECOWAS Commission in order to exchange experiences and review status of implementation of the ECOWAS Convention.”
It is hoped that the meeting would meet the AU Roadmap on silencing the Guns by 2020, establishment of Peace, Security and Stability Mandate (PSSM) Regional training centers in West Africa, Partnership and networking opportunities.