Ahead of the 2023 poll, rights activist and environmentalist, Mr Nnimmo Bassey has charged the electorates to interrogate candidates jostling for the exalted seats of the presidency and other elective seats of their plans for a safe and cleaner environment in the country.
Speaking during a two days national conference on climate change organised by the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa in Abuja, he said it behoves Nigerians to cast their votes for public office holders that place a premium on their wellbeing as against their pecuniary interests.
The director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation noted: “Nigerians, next year we have elections where we would be electing new political leaders so it’s a good time to begin to ask the questions who among these leaders whether president, Senate, House of Representatives, councillors or chairmen of local councils are we voting for?
“Who among them would look at solid minerals and look at the communities suffering the impacts of the exploitation of our solid minerals? So we have to elect leaders who care about the wellbeing of our people and not the health of their pockets.”
Calling on Nigerians not to rest on their oars in engaging policymakers on the need to protect the environment, he said it behoves the authorities to put in place measures aimed at transiting from over-dependence on proceeds from petroleum resources.
Recalling how the price of oil plunged during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the earlier the authorities explore other natural resources the country is blessed with, the better for all as oil would sooner than later become a stranded asset.
He stressed the need to support local farmers to grow crops with natural manures and herbicides, adding that the authorities should endeavour to adopt the Niger Delta manifestos to tackle the challenges of climate change in the country.
Bassey who described the Ogoni people as climate champions did not mince words in calling for a comprehensive review of the petroleum industry Act (PIA).
Referring to the devastating effects of floods across the country, he stressed the need for what he termed a “climate action” to avoid unavoidable catastrophe in the years ahead.
Source: Guardian Nigeria