The Lekeh Development Foundation has urged the electorates in Rivers State to only vote for political candidates who will give them climate justice, by protecting the environment through adoption of a just transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
Executive Director of Lekeh Development Foundation, Mr. Friday Barilule Nbani, particularly charged voters to choose only political leaders who have a clear-cut agenda to tackle climate change.
In his message to mark the 30th anniversary of Ogoni Day, Nbani said his campaign, Vote for Climate, was aimed at demanding from political aspirants and candidates to represent climate justice.
While regretting that fossil fuels destroys the environment, he said politicians must have clear-cut plans to invest in renewables such as solar energy to make life easier for the people, and warned the people not to vote for people who will not give them climate justice
“Knowing that anything that destroys the environment destroys life, we need political aspirants who will represent the environment.
“A just transition from fossil fuels to renewals. As we speak a litre of fuel is N360 per litre. And this fossil fuels destroys the environment becomes it emits carbon. So, we are looking for candidates who when elected will put policies that will ensure s just transition from dirty fossil fuels to renewables.
“There must also be an end to funding fossil fuel extraction. There should be investment in solar energy, solar energy should be made accessible, affordable to the common people in Ogoni.
“If this is done then the environment automatically will restore itself gradually, because there will be a reduction in gas flaring, oil pollution, and a reduction in hydrocarbon related diseases.”
Earlier, the Deputy Governorship Candidate of the Labour Party in Rivers State, Mr. Kaninee Barikpoa, said the environment was everyone first right because without the environment there is no life and anyone who ignores the environment ignores life.
Barikpoa assured that the Labour Party-led government when it comes on board will carry out a proper cleanup of Ogoniland, tackle all forms of pollution and ensure the environment is given back to the people.
“The environment is very important to Labour Party; the Ogoni environment has been neglected for a very long time with oil spills everywhere and devastated ecosystem.
“We will ensure that the Ogoni environment is properly cleaned. What you’re seeing today is a shenanigan of what they claimed to do. Over N102billion has been earmarked to clean the Ogoni environment, but till now we can’t show even a N10billion worth of clean up in Ogoniland. People in government have connived to share the money through fraudulent contracts.
“Unfortunately, foreigners and international community are the ones who draw our attention to things happening in our environment.
“Pollution is a problem in the whole Niger Delta and Ogoniland because we have no means of livelihoods but the environment. When the air, land and rivers are polluted, life becomes difficult. We will ensure that all pollutants are taking care of. Not only hydrocarbon pollution but all so chemicals and industrial pollution.”