hazy weather

Weather and Electoral Processes in Nigeria

An old saying states that mother nature doesn’t really care about man but that it is the sole responsibility or duty of man to care for mother nature. All aspects of the environment must be reviewed when making decisions and developing plans because mother nature makes her presence felt whether man is prepared or not and she cannot be manipulated. This was highlighted in the 2019 Nigerian electoral process.

Unplanned events that might have cost loss of human lives and properties and even stimulated election violence and instability in Nigeria were experienced during the electoral process. Good case studies of weather interference in electoral process includes:

  1. Sahara Reporters covers the story of ” Bad weather, sabotage responsible for postponement of elections, say INEC Chairman 
  2. Vice President’s helicopter crash on the 2nd Feb. 2019. Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Commissioner Mr Akin Olateru stated that the crash was due to lost of visual contact with ground at landing due to  a “brownout”, meaning chopper landing in a dry, sandy environment. Also Caverton helicopters, owners of the chopper had announced that “unusual weather condition caused the crash”

In spite of the manner, mother nature is currently showing up via unpredictable extreme weather conditions and changing the climate, most political parties and their candidates still did not mention in their various manifesto what specifically they will do to address climate change. The known impacts of climate change being experienced by Nigerians include water scarcity, poor water quality, increase in climate change related diseases, flooding, food insecurity, drought, famine, loss of lives and property etc. There was no mention on how they would address climate change. For instance there was no mention of provision of safe drinking water or development of better waste management practices or creation of afforestation programs to address deforestation and so on.

Matters with element of environmental connection that dominated various debates, town hall meetings were only centered around food security (herder’s and farmer clashes) which as expected has strengthen the concept of ” Farmers Manifesto” during political rally.

2019 election in Nigeria stimulated the generation of data and concepts that showed the socioeconomic situations of the nation but not much on the ecological situation. This is due to lack of “Ecological Literacy” in Nigeria; ecological perspectives are missing; ecology has become an unimportant subject to history, politics, economics, society and so on, that has resulted, using the words of Professor David Orr in his book (HOPE- Is an Imperative), a generation of Ecological Yahoo’s without a clue about nature or environment.

Finally, Nigerians should remember, that a nation without resources (natural resources) will soon plug back to darkness. Raise a voice for nature protection and conservation in Nigeria

Toyin Oshaniwa

Founder at Nature Cares Resource Centre
An interdisciplinary researcher and advocate for environmental education, environmental and sustainability management
Toyin Oshaniwa

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