Nigeria has signed the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty, joining dozens of other countries that signed the treaty to ban nuclear weapons amid tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, signed the treaty on behalf of Nigeria on Wednesday at the UN headquarters on the sidelines of the High-level UN General Assembly.
After the signing ceremony, Onyeama told journalists that Nigeria was in support of a weapons-free world.
He said “right from the early 60s, Nigeria has been a strong advocate of nuclear weapons prohibition and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
“You may recall in the early 60s when France tested an atom bomb-related device in the Sahara and Nigeria cut diplomatic relations with France at the time.
“Nigeria had always been a strong advocate of de-nuclearisation of the world. We are one of the main movers of this treaty.”
The minister said it was unfortunate that countries with nuclear weapons saw them as deterrence and safeguarded their security.
According to him, it will take great effort to really push and get larger number of countries to accede to the treaty, especially nuclear weapons states.
He urged countries that signed the treaty, Civil Society Organisations and intergovernmental organisations to convince others to accede to the treaty.
The foreign affairs minister stressed that “the point made was that even if those nuclear weapons states were not ready to sign, they should at least take measures to ensure there was no accidental use or deliberate use of nuclear weapons.”