Yesterday saw two interesting events. First was the shameful outing by Vanguard. The Vice President had signalled that he will not allow rent-seekers toy with his immaculate reputation and the within hours, Vanguard issued a retraction and an apology. I, like many, do not buy their mischievous apology but that’s up to Prof Osinbajo.
Embarrassed and crestfallen, the disgruntled Mischief Makers of the Federation sped off to New York where they sought to rejig their bad day with President Buhari, as usual. At least, they know he will not respond to their mischief. That led us to what became the second interesting event of the day.
Over there in New York, the president had attended the United Nations Climate Action Summit the previous day, in which he was billed to speak. Seated with other participants, which included the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, the presenter introduced President Buhari and invited him to highlight Nigeria’s Climate Action pathway for a resilient future, given our huge young population.
The president did just that and perfectly too – highlighted what Nigeria has done, what we’re doing and what we intend to achieve. He set out the goals, targets and timelines.
He started off with observing protocols, then aligned himself to the sentiments of the UN Secretary-General that the world is on the verge of a climate catastrophe and posited categorically that Climate Change is a human-induced phenomenon. He reinforced Nigeria’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and stated that we intend to expand the scope of our Sovereign Green Bond (recall that Nigeria was the first country to issue the Green Bond). He promised the inclusion of more youths in the decision-making process as part of the climate governance architecture. He pointed out the drive to recharge the Lake Chad to save the livelihoods of over 40 million residents around the basin, plant more trees to enhance our carbon sink and diversify electricity generation by sourcing more sustainable and climate-friendly alternatives, away from gas-powered outputs. He reeled out our plan to realise a 30% renewable energy mix by 2030, with a view to cut down about 179 million tons of carbon dioxide annually by the same year.
All these were about Nigeria’s efforts towards saving the planet and pushing back the devastating effects of climate change. Those were what he was asked to highlight and those were what he promptly highlighted. It was not a question and answer session.
So, I ask, where is the disconnect?
I have a feeling that many of those sharing the video and obfuscating on the issue have not bothered to watch it or paid due attention to actual details of the president’s speech. I had asked a few and none could identify any disconnect from the speech but they still thought he didn’t answer a question. Even his first two sentences had climate change in them but some educate Nigerian illiterates have perfected the art of being arrogant in their ignorance.
A few are irked that he read from a paper and I responded to one that it was an obvious indication that he delivered a speech, as opposed to an assumed interview session. These are very simple observations if any had perused the schedule of events posted online at www.un.org but the reality is that you risk exposing your backside when in a hurry to abuse or ridicule someone.
Finally, I do not share the views of those who think the video was doctored. The video I saw is in order and Mr President’s speech is equally in order, but we have too many pseudo-intellectuals in Nigeria who rush to mould opinions and unnecessarily distort reason. Nevertheless, if you identify the disconnect, I’ll be very obliged to learn.