Following the unending killings in the country, Africa Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) has disclosed its plan to mobilize and coordinate all civil society organizations to stop gun violence.
The crisis, AU-ECOSOCC said has led to gross under development resulting from cultism, banditry, intercommunal clashes, kidnapping, militancy, insurgency and all other societal vices.
Nigerian Representative of AU-ECOSOCC, Tunji Asaolu said these in Abuja when he led a delegation on an official visit to the National Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Amb. Dickson Akoh in his office.
Asaolu advised government at all level to increase awareness for peace building, alternative dispute resolution, security education, mopping-up of small and light weapons and reduction of cross border crimes and arms proliferations by supporting Peace Corps of Nigeria to achieve her sets objectives in all ramifications.
His words: “Silencing the guns is one of the flagship projects of the Union’s lst ten-year implementation plan to achieve Agenda 2063; The time horizon for its completion is the year 2020, in other words this AU flagship project was scheduled to be completed by 2020 at the latest.
“African Union ECOSOCC Nigeria in fulfillment of its mandate to mobilize and coordinate all civil societies organizations for positive citizens engagement demands the call for action to stop guns violence which in Nigeria has led to gross under development resulting from cultism, banditry, intercommunal clashes, kidnapping, militancy, insurgency and all other societal vices.
“For these reasons, the AU-ECOSOCC Nigeria further strongly call government at all levels to increase awareness for peace building, alternative dispute resolutions, security education, mapping-up of small and light weapons and reduction of cross border crimes and arms proliferations by supporting Peace Corps of Nigeria to achieve her sets objectives in all ramifications. Together we can, make it happen.”
National Commandant of the PCN, Amb. Dickson Akoh expressed sadness over the insecurity in the country, and called for urgent intervention to avoid further breakdown of law and order.
Akoh, while appreciating the AU-ECOSOCC for its plan to ensure peace in Nigeria, called on politicians, business men and women to assist in making sure that don’t encourage youths to go into crime.
He said: “there is no gainsaying that the exponential growth of the abhorrent gun culture in Africa over the last few decades, especially among the youth, has led to either the ignition or exacerbation of all the forms of violent upheavals that have adversely ravaged the continent; be they political, religious, socio-ethnic or economic.
“Also, gunrunning by greedy businesspersons; the proclivity of egocentric politicians to engage mercenaries, or arm their subjects and loyalists during electioneering campaigns and elections in order to crush their perceived political opponents; and the activities of ethnic warlords and self-acclaimed freedom fighters, resulted in the massive proliferation of light weapons and ammunition across the continent. Political contests in Africa in recent years can be likened to theatres of war, where only the strong survives.
“Unfortunately, after the elections are won or lost and the politicians are done with the services of their hired gunmen, often youths, they jettison them. Armed with guns and hard drugs, these desperate youths vent their expostulations with these powerful politicians which they no longer have access to, by hurting anyone or anything that stands in their way.
“We must equally appeal to our egocentric politicians and ethnic warlords to have a change of heart. Rather than equipping our teeming but unemployed youths with guns, they will do better in creating a peaceful society through massive job creation and genuine empowerment of the youths.”