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AAC, ADC, SDP candidates present as CSOs hold presidential town hall on climate change

AAC, ADC, SDP candidates present as CSOs hold presidential town hall on climate change
February 08
16:30 2023

Ahead of the presidential election, candidates have been hosted to a town hall meeting to debate on climate change issues and environmental concerns. 

The event, which was organised by Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) in collaboration with We The People, and Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), held on Tuesday at the University of Abuja.

Presidential aspirants in attendance included Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC), Dumebi Kachikwu of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and a representative of Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

Speaking on how he intends to tackle climate change, Sowore said he would introduce sustainable living by doing away with fossil fuels and improving electricity generation.


“One of the many ways to deal with the environmental crisis is to generate sustainable living in the country,” he said.

“It starts with electricity. We are going to jettison the use of fossil fuels in the country. Oil resources are the biggest source of crime in the world. The biggest criminals are those who drill oil because they don’t just kill people, they also kill the environment.”

On his part, Kachikwu said more research needs to be done as available ones have commercial inclinations and may not be applicable to Nigeria.


“We have some of the best scientists in Nigeria. I want to see their reports, I want to know what they’re saying especially as it affects us locally. I want to be able to dredge our rivers more so that these floods don’t continue to destroy our people,” he said.

“I want to ensure that our people who live in lowlands, that we move them to the uplands. We need to change our way of life, what we eat, what we wear, how we commute — all these things affect our environment.”

The ADC candidate added that it is important for citizens to be educated on climate change issues.

“Government owes it to the people to ensure that they are well informed so that when we come into an environment like this, and we’re speaking about environmental degradation, most people should be able to understand the impact, have a say and a point of view,” he said.


When asked of his plans on biodiversity conservation, Kachikwu said if elected, his administration will implement and enforce laws that support “clean drilling”.

“I will ensure that every oil company still flaring gas pays a penalty sufficient to ensure that they stop gas flaring immediately,” he said.

“For those that still want to operate in the Niger Delta, I will ensure they operate clean drilling. We need to protect aqua life, green life and our communities by ensuring that our laws are enforced.”

Adebayo of the SDP spoke on the need to ensure responsible use of the environment.


“We cannot be discussing the environment as a second person. We are part of the environment; the environment includes us,” he added.

For the representative of the NNPP, the country needs to address poverty, insecurity, and improve on efforts to promote sustainable agriculture, including the production of fertilizer peculiar to the Nigerian soil.


“We don’t have a fertilizer company in this country today producing fertilizers for Nigerian farmers. When Kwankwaso takes over, he’s going to address the issue of fertilizers as one of the critical ways of managing the environment of this country,” he said.

“Today, there are many places in Nigeria that if you don’t apply the foreign fertilizers, they cannot produce anything because everything has been conditioned over the past years.


“Chemicals, pesticides which have been banned in Europe a long time ago are still being applied today in Africa.”


This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.


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