Urge govt to make stiffer laws against environmental pollution
By Luminous Jannamike – Abuja
The Nigeria Interreligious Council, NIREC, under the joint leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, and the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, on Thursday, said that herdsmen and farmers crises in the country are linked to climate change.
It stated this in a press release signed on behalf of the two leading clerics by NIREC’s Executive Secretary, Fr. Prof Cornelius Omonokhua, in Abuja.
The Council noted that although it was clear that other issues contributed to the clashes between herders and farmers, a high percentage of the menace had to do with poor vegetation caused by global warming.
The clerics said, “Nigeria as a country is experiencing its own fair share of environmental pollution and global warming effects. The fact that Herdsmen and farmers are clashing over vegetation can be directly or indirectly linked to climate change.
“The indiscriminate falling of trees without replanting, illegal mining, etc. are all part of man’s activities that are taking a toll on the environment.
“The impact of these activities resulting in climate change has given birth to high exposure to heat stress and ultraviolet radiation, the absence of clean air, a shortage of potable water, desertification, unpredictable weather, etc.”
According to them, where and when necessary, the government should consider the possibility of making new legislation to combat and address these crises.
“Our lands are polluted due to improper or lack of available dumpsite for domestic wastes and wrongful or excessive use of agro-allied chemicals; our waters are polluted by direct dumping of refuse in the water or waterways thus causing blockage of such waterways which results to flooding and contamination of water; crude oil drilling activities of the oil-producing states are another aspect of water pollution. Improper chemical waste disposal by industries is also not left out of this.
“The pollution that our air suffers mostly comes from emissions of carbon monoxide from automobiles and industries. There are no stiff penalties for such emissions and as such, a lot of vehicles drive around with visible emission, with heavy-duty vehicles, creating a dark cloud of soot while they are in motion.
“In order to mitigate against the devastating effects of these pollutions, the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council hereby calls on the government to make legislation, particularly enabling the respective regulatory Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to address and combat these crises.”
Also, the Council urged the people to avoid acts that could be inimical to the environment, praying that the nation would be pollution-free and the world at large would experience climate justice.