By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Executive Director of the Centre for Reforms and Public Advocacy, Ifeanyi Okechukwu, has expressed disappointment with the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu over his views on the effects of climate change in the country.
While addressing the Arewa interactive committee on Monday in Kaduna, Tinubu said developed countries must be ready to provide financial support if Nigeria is to comply with climate change guidelines.
Tinubu had compared Nigeria’s compliance with global climate change directives to preventing “a church rat from eating poisoned holy communion.”
Okechukwu in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said Tinubu’s views at the Arewa House on the issue was indicative that he is out of touch with the current ideals of progressive governance.
According to Okechukwu, the APC presidential candidate has proved himself unworthy to be elected as president of Nigeria judging by “his shambolic delivery at the Arewa House on Monday.
“For a presidential candidate who claimed to have been warned to stay on his script, it becomes confounding when, even in the short moment that he had to loosen his seat belt, he flew into stormy weathers in his response to the issue of climate change.
“Rather, he resorted to a blasphemous odd ecclesiastical metaphor and did the unthinkable by launching a threat to Western nations.
“It would have been expected that Tinubu used the platform of the prestigious Arewa House, and the question thrown at him to enunciate his concern and empathy for the victims of flooding that continues to ravage many states of the North and other many other states in the South.
“As we speak, many states in the North and South of the country have fallen to high floods, which is occasioned by Greenhouse effects.
“Whereas, policy experts and politicians in the country are busy thinking about how to make investments that will create water farms or expand the channels of internal waterways, but here comes Tinubu so disconnected from the science and facts of climate change, that he sees it as an instrument to blackmail Western countries.
“Can we for a moment imagine a Nigerian President making a presentation to the United Nations General Assembly on climate change issues, and he forgets to make a good case for victims of flooding in his own country, but remembers that his own people need firewood to cook and tells the world that unless “the West gives us finances, we are not interested in climate change.
“That is the kind of a Nigeria that the APC candidate desires, one that will make our dear country a rogue nation and our citizens being ridiculed across the globe.
“The other day in Kaduna, he talked about education in a derogatory manner and it is inconceivable that he referred to people as ‘educated relics.’ That, of course, is not the standard of a progressive and neither is it in currency with human capital development as the new driver of personal and national resourcefulness.
“It is not our intention to engage the APC candidate with his deliberate attempt to distort history during his poor delivery at the Arewa House yesterday, but we counsel that if anyone should step aside in the upcoming presidential election, it should be a candidate who lacks the grit to engage on off the cuff public speaking.
“The challenges that the next president of the country will inherit are enormous and it is dangerous that we hand over the country to a leader whose notion about governance is archaic.”