A non governmental organisation based in Delta state under the auspices of Environmental Protection Promoters Initiative, EPPI recently led an advocacy for a ban on the production and deployment of fully autonomous weapons, a perceived as “third generation weapon”.
The advocacy meeting which was held on Thursday 29th July at Chapel of Gods Grace Int Inc. Irri- Aviara Road, with the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Isoko South chapter and on Friday 30th July at Christ Apostolic Church, with Christian Association of Nigeria Isoko South Local Government branch of Delta State.
The meeting had in attendance, clergy men and women from diverse ministries, members of EPPI team led by the Executive Director of EPPI, Mr Sylvester Itimi and representatives from other civil society groups.
Speaking on the objectives of the campaign to stop fully autonomous weapons, EPPI Director, Mr Sylvester stated that the campaign aim is to monitors the positions of countries on the production and deployment of such deadly weapons and encourage countries to heed the call to ban fully autonomous weapons.
According to one of the presenter Mrs Mercy Obrogo who buttress on the need for Nigeria government to jettison the idea of fully autonomous weapons said; “Government at all levels should device other means of fighting insecurities than adopting fully autonomous weapons such as killer robots.”
In her words; “The following red flags associated with the deployment and use of fully autonomous weapons; that killer robots would be unpredictable and unreliable, vulnerable to hacking or spoofing, and unable to make the complex decisions required to adhere to International Human right Laws (IHL) norms of distinction, proportionality, and necessity.
“Thousands of tech experts and hundreds of companies working in the tech sector have raised concerns that fully autonomous weapons would be unpredictable and unreliable, vulnerable to hacking or spoofing, and unable to make the complex decisions required to adhere to IHL norms of distinction, proportionality, and necessity.
“By reacting with their environment in unexpected ways, they would increase risks to soldiers and civilians alike. Improved precision can be achieved without removing meaningful human control from the use of force. The potential advantages of fully autonomous weapons are far outweighed by the serious challenges they pose to international law and security.” Mrs Mercy Obrogo stated.
In their separate remarks, Mr Benjamin Itimi and Rev. Edero Japhet also disclosed that “Fully autonomous weapons if approved would by themselves decide who lives and dies, without further human intervention, which is morally, ethically and legally unwise”.
“As machines, killer robots would lack the inherently human characteristics such as compassion that are necessary to make complex decisions.
“Fully autonomous weapons could be used in other circumstances to suppress peaceful protests and also oppressive governments could use them to obstruct electoral processes to remain in power or even cause destruction to regions where their perceived opponents are more populated. And this could even be more dangerous when they get into the hands of terrorists.” They added.
EPPI team further called on all religious leaders across the state to support the campaign by encouraging Parliamentarians at the state and Federal levels, Federal ministry of defense and the ministry of foreign affairs to give this campaign a serious concern and see reasons why they should join in the global negotiate for a treaty to ban fully autonomous weapons.
They also invites traditional rulers, academia, scientist, artificial intelligent experts and all non state actors to join and amplify the call for a preemptive ban of fully autonomous weapons.