By Daji Sani in Yola
The American University of Nigeria ,(AUN) in collaboration with the Yar’adua Foundation has identified climate change, gas flaring, deforestation and other unethical environmental practices as responsible for the Boko Haram insurgency and other forms of violence in Nigeria.
Discussing the issue, a team of experts from the two organisations at the AUN in Yola, Adamawa State headed by Professor Charles Reith of the AUN ,the experts observed that the people must change their attitude towards the environment for Nigeria to be able to resolve some of the violent conflicts bedevilling it.
The experts who were formed into a team of Panel to analyse a film documentary produced by Yaradua Foundation tagged “No Where to Run: Nigeria’s Climate and Environmental Crisis”,, a nexus was established between climate change, deforestation, gas flaring, environmental degradation occasioned by oil exploration with violent conflicts in Nigeria.
The documentary also showcases every parts of Nigeria showing how climate change has affected the lives of people in every region of the country from deforestation, erosion, gas flaring, environmental degradation occasioned by oil .
They observed that change of climate which led to severe drop in rainfall and change in weather patterns has led to monumental shrink of lake Chad leading to loss of employment opportunities for thousands of fishermen, farmers and herders whose livelihood defended on the lake.
In addition, the experts said that deforestation occasioned by felling of trees in the North leading to loss of massive territories, drought, competition between herders and farmers and other pestilences had upped job losses and competition for resources between the various people of the area whose combined effect were responsible for the intensity of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
They 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 significant job losses as both fishermen and farmers were rendered jobless.
However the experts asserted that the overall problem which also lead to the preponderance of poverty accordingly led to the violent militancy that rocked the region for a long time.
In addition to the militancy, the scourge has 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 adversities besetting Nigeria, deliberate effort must be made by the government in assuaging some of the unethical environmental practices like overcoming gas flaring, sanctioning oil companies who pollute the environment, introduction of renewable energy and a call on the government to embark on rigorous public enlightenment on the need by all to preserve the environment.