The birth of GCOMS West Africa and Nigeria chapter was launched on this day April 13, 2015 being international “Global Day of Action on Military Spending”. The GCOMS West Africa/ Nigeria chapter is being hosted by Trees on Earth Development Foundation (TREES ON EARTH) office, a national Non-Governmental Organization operating to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, environmental pollution and poverty through sustainable development practices in the communities of in Nigeria and Africa in general.
The opening remarks was given by the Mr. Moses Adedeji the Convener GCOMS West Africa/Nigeria and he appreciated the participants coming far away from Lagos, Abuja, Lokoja, Edo state and environs to grace the occasion. He spoke details about GCOMS and GDAMS how it came about and why we need such movement, in his speech he captured that in 2013; global military spending surged to an all-time high of US$1.75 trillion. Given the numerous crises facing the planet – the environment, the economy, epidemics, and mass poverty and asked the audience whether this is the right priority for the use of public money? He called on their solidarity to rise up and say no to this excesses expenditure on military and that a massive reallocation is needed. He equally made them realized that there are thousands of organizations and millions of individuals who support this point of view – what is needed is now serious mobilizing effort to make it visible.
In his speech Mr.Adedeji also informed the participants that GDAMS organizers believe that by reducing funding for the military sector, significant amounts of money would be available for social projects domestically or abroad and lead to fulfilling real human needs and social development
The program was graced by the officials of the following organizations Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), African WideMovement for Children, Kaka Girls Child Foundation, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS), The Biographers, Journalists For Development Communication Initiative (JFDCi). Also in attendance comprise the students of the school and their entire staff who played a vital role in the program by staging dramas to mark the day. Also there was a debate between the students they spoke on a topic: #MOVE THE MONEY! FROM WARFEARE TO EDUCATION (SUPPORT OR AGAINST). The students debated on the subject matter either in support or against moderated by their teachers.
The Special Guest of Honour Mr. Bola Olanrewaju, Convener, African Wide Movement on Children(AMC)Nigeria Chapter and Secretary General Campaign for Democracy(CD), Lagos and Nigeria foremost leading pro-democracy and human rights activist strongly emphasized on the need to persuade Nigerian governments to #Move the Money# from Military to support climate change adaptation, post 2015 development agenda, peace process and public service delivery. As part of the celebration an oral interview was conducted among the students and the staff in attendance on this topic: “IF I HAD N349. 475 TRILLION ($1.75 TRILLION USD) I WOULD #MOVE THE MONEY! TO….?”
We are able interviewed 63 students and 11 teachers including the principal of the school. In his remarks the principal of the hosting school Mr. Osho Ajagun commended the good works of the international organization for their global campaigns to put pressure on governments to reduce their expenses on military equipment’s. He pledged and with the immediate effect establishes the GCOMS Club in the school for students to carry on the campaigns making it the first school in the world to have such club in secondary school the executives of the club was inaugurated by Mr.Adedeji of GCOMS Africa that same day that GCOMS West Africa/Nigeria was inaugurated.
Among those dignitaries that made remarkable remarks were Ambassador Kaka Oyinbo, a 19 years old first year Public Administration students of Kogi State University, #BringBackourGirls Campaigner and founder Kaka Girls Child Foundation she commended the efforts of Nigerian Military forces on their fights to bring back our missing Chibok school children missing since last year April14,2014. According to kaka she pledge on her own to further establish more GCOMS Clubs in schools in Edo and Kogi states and she also promised that her organization will reach out to Nigeria government on this campaign to reduce their expenses on military and budget more to education, health and give free education to all Nigerian children including free medical cares.
The program came to an end which lasted for 2 hours 43 minutes and closing remarks was said by the school GCOM Club Coordinator who also pledge that the club has come to stay and they will do all their possible best to take the campaigns to their parents and other adults outside the school, in addition they equally solicited for support and encouragement from the international and Africa bodies of GCOMS.
Focal Person/Convener- GCOMS Nigeria
Coordinator- GCOMS West Africa
Secretary General- GCOMS Africa
Executive Director/Secretary Board of Trustees- TREES ON EARTH
+234 80 3041 5288(mobile).