In a bid to protect and preserve the remains of their communities, campaigners from various local governments in Kogi state gathered together to voice their concerns as they attended a state lobby day organized by Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation alongside Welfare Aid, under the auspices of 350.org. The participants were shocked at how amazing it turned out to be without the use of violence.
The state lobby day began on the 6th of December 2021, in Kogi state with a training session. The lobbyists were trained to advocate for climate justice using a non-Violent approach through the concept of lobbying starting from the local Governing council.
The training had 30 participants drawn from 15 villages from coal mining communities in Ankpa Local government namely; Akpali – Awo, Utakpa – Ika, Ogbagebe – Ika, Manejo – Ika, Odagwu – Okaba, Ilone – Ika, Onupi – Okaba, Okpiko – Okobo, Ogboyaga – Ika, Odele – Ika, Inye – Enjema, Ofugo – Enjema, Ukpolobia – Ika, Acharane – Ika).
7 December 2021 was set aside to visit key officials in Ankpa Local Government Council, the trained lobbyist met with 9 officials Namely Hon. Ibrahim Abagwu – Hon. Chairman Rep by Ibrahim Yahaya (Chief of Staff), Hon. Ugbede J.S Amodu – Deputy Council Leader, Hon. Ismaila Moh’d – Majority Leader, Hon. Seidu Usman Councilor Ojoko 1, Hon. Shittu Alhassan, Enjemma IV, Hon. Umuhani Ademu – Ejema II, Hon. Shaibu Hassan Akor Supervisory Councilor for Health and Environment representing every ward at the Local Government Secretariat; the lobbyist were warmly received.
Amazed at how well organized the representatives made their request known without violence, it was agreed that a Local Coal Mining Community Network of all the representatives from the coal mining communities be established. The participants were able to develop and present their demands to their councilors and Chairman through his special adviser on Women Affairs. The Chairman, through his chief of staff, promised to hold a future meeting with the Local Coal Mining Community Network alongside all the councilors and their state and national representatives from the affected communities. He also promised to send a delegation to visit all the affected communities that were represented for further immediate actions.