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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Nigeria Special Weapons


On 27 January 2004 Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar met with his counterpart from North Korea, Yang Hyong Sop, at the State House Abuja in Nigeria. Alhaji Atiku sought the support of North Korea in Nigeria's quest for a Permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. He also spoke about Nigeria's support for expansion of the Security Council and the democratisation of the United Nations itself.

Vice President Abubakar told the Vice President of the North Korean Presidium that Nigeria would continue to seek a peaceful world without regular threat of confrontation by nuclear powers. The Vice President said while Nigeria understands the antecedents of North Korea nuclear program as explained, it seeks a peaceful use of the program. He also assured his guest that "Nigeria is ready to support all peaceful means to ensure the immediate unification of the Korean nations."

On 28 January 2004 it was reported that North Korea had agreed to share missile technology with Nigeria. Officials gave no details of the deal, including whether Nigeria would receive assembled missiles or technology. Nigeria claimed the missile help would be used for "peacekeeping" and to protect its territory. Vice President Atiku Abubakar agreed to the "program of cooperation that includes missile technology" with Yang Hyong Sop. A statement from the Nigerian Vice President's office said the West African nation's "government would continue to cooperate with the Korean government in the defense sector, an area in which both Nigeria and North Korea had cooperated over the years."

According to Vice-President Atiku Abubarkar's spokesmen Onukaba Ojo in the report " The subject of arms sales had come up at a meeting in Abuja, Tuesday between Atiku and his North Korean counterparts, Yang Hyong-Sop. Atiku had met with the North Korean delegation to discuss buying missiles. We have since discussed the matter with Nigerian defence officials and found that the suggestion had come from North Korea". He added, " They came to us wanting a memorandum of understanding signed with us towards developing missile technology and training and manufacture of ammunition. They were just trying to get us interested, but there hasn't been any interest shown on our side. We are not interested, but we didn't tell them".

After the United States hinted at sanctions, Nigeria walked away from the planned partnership.

Nuclear Weapons

Some sources suggest that Nigeria had nuclear weapons intentions at one time, but these claims are un-substantiated.

Nigeria signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty on 01 July 1968, with the ratification deposited on 27 September 1968.

During the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi, congratulated South Africa, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine for demonstrating 'that it is possible to give up the possession of nuclear weapons without loss of status or diminished security', an example Nigeria hoped others would emulate.

In 1997 Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria and the Sudan proposed a protocol to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, providing comprehensive and unconditional security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States.

As part of Nigeria's commitment to the non-proliferation regime, President Olusegun Obasanjo signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) while in New York to attend the Millennium Summit in 2000. The process of ratification was concluded by the National Assembly, making Nigeria one of the 12 African countries to have ratified the Treaty by the end of 2001.

Nigerian Director of International Organisations in the Foreign Affairs ministry, Ambassador Olusegun Akinsanya, on Wednesday 8 October 2003 called for multilateral negotiations on the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which would also involve significant input from major powers.

Radiological Weapons

In the Biafran secessionist struggle in Nigeria in the late 1960s, an Ibo physicist and his colleagues reportedly obtained enough radioactive material in Europe to make a radiological bomb. They planned to explode the weapon in Lagos, the capital, but on the way from Europe to Nigeria, the material got "lost" in Portugal. It was never heard of again.

Chemical Weapons

The Chemical Weapons Convention bans the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, and direct or indirect transfer of Chemical Weapons. It also prohibits the use or preparation for use of CW and the assistance, encouragement, or inducement of anyone else to engage in activities prohibited by the CWC. Nigeria ratified the CWC on 19 May 1999.

Biological Weapons

Nigeria signed the Biological Weapons Convention on 6 December 1972 and ratified 3 July 1973.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:45:45 ZULU