BY CHRISTY ANYANWU
Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Chairman of the Environment Committee of the 2014 National Conference and leader of Seagull Carnival Band has received support from Heritage Bank and the Nigeria Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to stage a public enlightenment forum on Climate Change.
The discourse with the theme, Climate Change: A Time for Action’ is scheduled to hold tomorrow, Sunday September 10 at the Ballroom of the Oriental Hotel in Lagos. Senator Ben Murray-Bruce representing Bayelsa East senatorial district in the National Assembly will be the special guest of honour, while environmental activist, and Chairman of the Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) committee on awareness and fund raising will give a keynote address.
Tracing the history of her commitment to environmental matters, the prominent leader of Bakassi in Cross River State confessed that she knew very little about the devastation of the environmental until she was given the responsibility to chair the committee on environment during the 2014 National Conference. She said, “I had the privilege to work with many academics and seasoned environmental activists from the civil society. I humbled myself to learn quickly from them.”
Ita-Giwa said she was happy when her state Governor Prof. Ben Ayade chose climate change as the theme for the 2016/2017 Cross River State Carnival. She told the journalists that interpretation of the carnival usually involves serious intellectual work. According to her, “it is easy to conclude that the street parade and the dance is all there is to the carnival, but that is far from the truth. There is fierce competition among the competing bands. What we have decided to do is to bring home salient messages on climate change as projected by my band, the Seagull Band. She said that management of the band has since come to appreciate the need to highlight the consequences of climate change on our fragile planet.”
According to her, the band has apparently adopted the advocacy for action on climate change, thereby disseminating the message to a wider audience through lecture and stage presentation to a discerning audience.
Speaking further, she pointed out that “Our carnival band shall also be performing our carnival winning display tagged ‘Green Revolution’ at the event, in addition to special guest musical performance by leading Nigerian entertainers.”
The memorable event at which guests will be entertained in an unusual manner and informed in a convivial atmosphere is expected to be a very programme that will encourage Nigerians to appreciate the environmental issues and climate change.
Earlier, Ita-Giwa, a former special adviser to two Nigerian presidents on National Assembly Matters, said that being in politics has tremendous advantages and also a lot of disadvantages.
According to her, politics allows one to dabble into areas they probably know nothing about. “Politics allow you learn on the job, that is why they will appoint people and put them in ministries they know nothing about rather than their area of specialization.”