Presidential candidates converge in Abuja for environment, climate change town hall February 7

By Edu Abade

The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and its partners We the People, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and the University of Abuja will be organising a Town Hall Meeting with the presidential candidates of political parties in the country to assess Nigeria’s environment and climate change challenges in the context of policy options ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The town hall, scheduled for February 7, 2023, at the Main Auditorium, Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Abuja, is informed by the need for the environment and climate justice community to assess and interrogate the plans and policies of the political parties in addressing the myriad of environment and climate crisis bedevilling Nigeria.

Over 1,000 participants including civil society, the media, professional organisations, trade unions, students and academia are expected at the town hall.

In a statement signed by the Director, Home of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nnimmo Basey, said: “While the well-being of the environment is a critical factor in a nation where most citizens depend directly on it for their existence, the issue has not been topical in the election conversations.

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“The challenges of climate change in Nigeria have intensified in recent years. Nigeria, being one of the most impacted frontline countries, has seen an accelerated rate of desertification and flooding, twin manifestations that have seriously threatened security and food sufficiency.”

The statement, made available to journalists by the Director of Programmes at CAPPA, Philip Jakpor, added: “Similarly, the production of crude oil and gas has resulted in profound destruction of the environment, especially in the Niger Delta. For over 12 years after the release of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the state of the Ogoni environment, no significant action has been taken to remediate and curtail further oil pollution in the oil-bearing region.”

Organisers of the Town Hall Meeting explained that it will provide a robust platform for the presidential candidates in the 2023 general elections in Nigeria to discuss their plans and strategies for addressing critical environmental and climate change challenges facing the country with the Nigerian electorate.

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