By; Tina Phineas, Yola.
Nigerians have been called upon to have a change of attitude towards their environment in order to be able to tackle insecurity and other violent related conflicts.
A team of experts who stated this at forum organised by the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, observed that Climate change, gas flaring, deforestation and other unethical environmental practices contribute in causing violent attacks and insurgency in Nigeria.
The team of panelists which include Prof. Charles Reith, Prof.
Jennifer Che, Prof. Friday Ogwu, Prof. Loveday Gbara and Prof. Natian Yaduma at the AUN, noted that the change in our climate has led to drop in rain fall which has equally brought about the shrinking of lake Chad leading to lost of employment opportunities for fishermen, farmers and herdsmen whose livelihood depend on Lake Chad.
In a film documentary produced by Yar adua Foundation which was showcased during the forum tagged “No Where to Run: Nigeria’s Climate and Environmental Crisis”, it was established that climate change, deforestation, gas flaring, environmental degradation occasioned by oil exploration are causes of violent conflicts in Nigeria.
Deforestation occasioned by felling of trees in the North leading to
loss of massive territories, drought, competition between herders and farmers and other pestilences has created more job losses and
competition for scarce resources between the various people of the area whose combined effect were responsible for the intensity of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
It was also observed that the activities of oil exploration in the South South leading to massive gas flaring resulting in acid rains, environmental pollution, the activities of oil companies and saboteurs have also led to losses to both fishermen and farmers.
Militancy scourge has also been identified to have negative effect on the health of many residents of the region resulting in the proliferation of cancer, leukemia and other dangerous diseases.
It was however, suggested that to get a solution to the myriads of problems facing Nigeria as a Nation, deliberate effort must be made by the government in addressing some of the unethical environmental practices like overcoming gas flaring, sanctioning oil companies who pollute the environment, introduction of renewable energy.
The team of expert also called on the government to as a matter of urgency embark on rigorous public enlightenment on the need by all to preserve the environment.
By; Tina Phineas, Yola.