From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The President of Globe Nigeria and Chairman, Climate Parliament Nigeria, Samuel Onuigbo, has linked the worsening state of insecurity in the country to climate change, explaining that the movement of herders in search of fertile areas in the south is a result of the desertification in the north.
Onuigbo, who is a member of the House of Representatives, gave the explanation during the consolidation meeting of the joint climate change bill review committee and the legal working group yesterday in Abuja.
‘Consequently, as they move down from the northern part of the country, they now come to areas where people farm and they start clashing with those people because it is a confrontation arising from those who want their cattle to graze and then this is somebody’s farm that he has spent time and money to really prepare and within a minute the whole thing is gone. So, the farmer would react,’ Onuigbo explained.
‘And we want a situation where we still have the grazing areas up north, where the herders can graze their cattle and do their farming.
‘Do not forget that even Lake Chad that previously provided means of livelihood for over 30 million people has almost dried up. From what used to be over 25,000 square miles to just about 2500 square miles. So those who were doing farming there are no longer having areas to farm.
‘Those who were doing animal husbandry around there no longer have areas to do that. And those who were doing fishing no longer have somewhere to fish.
‘So, these individuals have poured into the cities and the outcome that you have is a serious crisis, insurgency and even the serious problem of Boko Haram,’ he said.
He stressed that a law on climate change will help the government make efforts in coordinating and addressing the challenges.
‘That is why this bill is important. We have called this meeting to be able to work together and look at the bill which I sponsored which by the special grace of God is almost moving to the committee of the whole.
‘We have taken in ideas from different critical segments of the society and the meeting we are having here today was authorized by the Speaker of the House of Representatives who appointed me the chairman to coordinate the review of the climate change bill.
‘We have worked on this bill extensively and like I said it has gone through first and second reading and about to be committed to the committee of the whole.
‘But what we have done is to review the bill and make sure that the areas that were raised as challenges or grey areas are adequately addressed so that when the bill is finally passed by the House and the Senate and eventually transmitted to the President for his assent, those grey areas would no longer constitute a problem.
‘We want the bill to get easy assent. This bill is important as we all know. We know the impact of climate change on Nigeria in particular and its contribution to some of the challenges we are having security-wise like clashes of farmers and herders.
‘More than that we have seen the pollution around the country, particularly in areas where oil is being produced. We also experience issues with coastal erosion, gully erosion, desertification and flood.
‘These are issues that we are sure that by the end of the day once this bill is assented to, they would be addressed adequately because right now we are not addressing them in the most coordinated manner,’ he said.