Nigeria moves to ratify Nuclear Treaty

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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Nigeria has moved to become the third African country, after The Gambia and South Africa, to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice sought approval for the ratification of the treaty at Wednesday’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, Minister of Information and Culture, explained that the treaty was aimed at the prevention of weapons of mass destruction.

“The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapon is the first global applicable and legally binding multilateral treaty to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapon on the basis of international humanitarian law in order to free the world of nuclear weapons. 

“The treaty however does not impede the right of signatories to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”

Mohammed said that many countries have signed the treaty, but that it required 50 countries to ratify it.

“On the 7th of July 2017, about 122 countries actually signed the treaty but it needed 50 countries to ratify it. 

“As of today, 34 countries have done so, including two in Africa, Gambia and South Africa. And by what we did today in Council we will become the third country in Africa to ratify this treaty. 

“I think the importance of the ratification of this treaty is not lost on any of us.  Nobody wants to see what happened in Hiroshima in 1945. 

“Nor do we want to see a repeat of even what happened near home here in 1961 when the French actually tested their nuclear bomb in Niger Republic and it had repercussion on their neighbouring countries.”

He said deliberation on the issue at the cabinet meeting was aimed at preventing similar incidents in the future.