A breath of Fresh Air as Coal Free Nigeria Campaigners meets Legislators

Campaigners from Benue with Honourable Patrick Ejeh

Coal Free Nigeria campaigners from Benue State, Kogi State, Kaduna State, Nasarawa State and the Federal Capital Territory received a breath of fresh air in their bid to get the government of Nigeria to stop the issuance of coal mining licenses. This fresh air came with resounding hope as the activists met with legislators representing communities that are already grappling with the adverse effects of coal mining at the recently held National Climate Lobby Day. 

The National Lobby Day commenced on Monday the 25th of October, 2021 with the training of coal campaigners on the act of lobbying by David Michael Terungwa. The campaigners were taken through the 5-levers of building political will and through a demonstration of a mock lobbying exercise the advocates shown the act of lobbying. Thereafter, campaigners practiced in different groups how they were going to engage the legislators on Coal Free Nigeria demands.

Consequently, On the bright and sparkling morning of Tuesday, 26th October, 2021, the team approached the National assembly complex with twisted feelings of excitement and trepidation with uncertainty of how events will pan out. After a few hitches at the entrance of the complex, the team proceeded to capture this historical moment in still pictures. Thereafter, one after the other, 5 different groups went in search of their designated Senator or House of Representative member.

After about 3 hours of scanning for the offices of their designated legislators, the group returned with bursting euphoria of the feat they just achieved. The community member from Benue State successfully got in touch with their representative, Honourable Patrick Ejeh. He welcomed the team with great enthusiasm and he expressed his oblivion of the coal mining activities taking place in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State. He requested for documentation of the team findings on the activities of coal miners in the area, unfortunately, the team from Benue did not have one at the time. They however, assured the Honourable of presenting him their findings by their next visit. 

On the other hand, their counterparts from Kogi were unable to meet Honourable Zakari Alfa who represents Ankpa LGA, but were able to secure a rescheduled date for the meeting. Furthermore, other campaigners met the Senate Committee Chairman on Ecology and Climate Change, Senator Mohammad Gusau who received them warmly. He solicited that the campaigners engage the Nigerian team at the COP 26 in Glasgow.

In retrospect, the first National Climate Lobby Day presents light at the end of the tunnel for the Coal Free Nigeria campaign. 

BY Joseph Ibrahim


Abuja Hotspot for a Global Just Recovery 

The just-concluded Global Just Recovery Gathering was a delightful online conference that brought together individuals from all over the world. Participants at the Abuja hotspot hosted on Friday, 9th April 2021 expressed their delight at the outcome of the gathering. The “hotspots”, also held in a number of other countries across Africa, allowed families, friends and colleagues to physically gather together to watch and participate in the virtual sessions that had been organised as part of the gathering. 

From the movement story on why we need a new multilateralism for a global just recovery, to the workshop on UNFCCC COP, participants learned from the wealth of experience of the speakers and enhanced their understanding of the climate movement and how everyone's effort is critical in actualising a just recovery world.

One of the participants expressed his agreement on the issues of global financing discussed by Masego Madzwamuse and other speakers on the subject of multilateralism for a just recovery.

In conclusion, the hotspot event which lasted for four hours was a success as participants got the opportunities to listen to global speakers on current issues and also to appreciate various cultural practices from across the globe.

A big part of a just recovery is bridging the gap and building on equity. By hosting this hotspot event we ensured that those without internet access were able to join this community. Notwithstanding the Covid19 prevention protocols in place, existing members of our movement interacted with the newbies and together made commitments towards a #CoalFreeNigeria at the Global Just Recovery Gathering. To support our movement do check out the #CoalFreeNigeria page and take action with us.

By Ogho Udoko Agnes


Nigeria Joins the rest of the world to demand for a Just Recovery

On Friday the 19th of March, 2021 Non-Governmental Organisations, Civil Society Organisations and environmental enthusiasts across Nigeria performed various public actions reechoing their demands for the Government of Nigeria to stop issuing coal mining licenses. These actions took place in seven locations viz Abuja, Abia, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, and Port Harcourt.

Campaigners across the country visited different government offices (Federal Ministry of Environment, Abuja, State Ministry of Environment, Benue, and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Kaduna), with a clear message to the Nigerian Government to stop the issuance of coal mining licenses. The message was accompanied with a beautiful plant which reinforced the foundation of a non-violent approach to the Coal Free Nigeria Campaign.

The action was in solidarity with climate campaigners across the world who took to the street to demand for JUST RECOVERY on the Global Climate Strike day. Consequently, the action increased the impetus of the Coal Free Nigeria Campaign as more local communities joined to demand for climate justice. 

On the other side, feedbacks and content generated from the local action were shared on social media in order to increase awareness and amplify the voices of the frontline communities. 

Furthermore, the action was able to secure more signatories to the online petition that is asking the Nigerian Government to stop the issuance of coal mining licenses so as to make it easy for our country to usher in a just transition from fossil fuel dependence and more so, ensure we are playing a great role in minimising the rapidness of climate change.

By; Joseph Ibrahim, Ogho Udoko and Francis Ebhodaghe