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"The moment we [Africans] lost our languages was also the moment we lost our bodies, our gold, diamonds, copper, coffee, tea." - Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Nigerians waiting for Change: Buhari’s Change, Climate Change or Change to Buhari’s Family

Carbon Emission
Perpetually airborne President Buhari has flown into Paris from Malta to join other world leaders for the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) on climate change – a discussion on how to stop our climate from changing. 

Sometimes these ‘animals in human skins’ (apologies to Fela Kuti) will not stop amusing me. Do they need to gather in Paris in order to stop the climate from changing?

Of course the burning of fossil fuels, which include Coal, Oil and Gas, by industries, power stations, vehicles, planes, etc. releases carbon into the atmosphere. 

When this Carbon mixes with Oxygen, it forms greenhouse gases such as carbon-dioxide (CO2). The build-up of CO2 in particular, traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere (greenhouse effect) that causes global warming.

Now, we know what causes climate change – burning of fossil fuels. Is it not, then, folly that 180 world leaders flew into Paris in their super jets, burning fossil fuels along the line, to discuss how to stop our climate from changing. 

In fact, by their actions, they have further damaged the climate. These kinds of insincere gatherings will never achieve any meaningful goal other than plain talk; because “when all is said and done [about climate change], more is said than done.” – Lou Holtz

Hence, everyone knows how to stop climate change – stop burning fossil fuels. But that’s impossible because we need these fuels to function. 

On the alternative, mankind should switch to renewable energy such as wind turbine, solar power, etc. but these are still evolving.

As the case maybe, the industrialised countries created the greenhouse effect in the first place and therefore, should be in the forefront to stop/control the emission of greenhouse gases. 

Looking at the map below, with the exception of South Africa, no other African country contributes immensely to carbon emissions.
Countries contributing to carbon emissions - Courtesy of BBC
More to the point, if Nigeria is not one of the major culprits to carbon emission, of what importance is it to Nigeria, even to the Earth, for President Buhari to be at Paris attending COP21 on climate change? 

The change Buhari should be implementing at the moment is that change he promised Nigerians during his presidential campaigns.

As at this moment, there is chronic fuel scarcity in Nigeria. People can’t move their vehicles as there is no fuel to drive the cars, how much more emitting carbons. 

Power stations in Nigeria, with a population of about 170 million people, merely produce 4,000 megawatts of electricity. Again, that can be equated to zero percent carbon emission.

And so, what is Buhari doing in Paris? How would he be pledging to reduce carbon emissions that barely exist in Nigeria? 

Moreover, before Buhari flew out of Nigeria, he sent a bill of about US$2.6 billion to the Senate for the purpose of fuel subsidies. 

In practical terms, Buhari will be using this money to pay for the fuel Nigerians consumed. And he is in Paris discussing how to reduce carbon emissions.

Talking about fuel subsidies, the beneficiaries of this scam is not the ordinal man that has a simple car to move about; but the superrich. 

Rich people have several gas guzzling cars in their garages. And they will always instigate the ignorant poor masses to oppose the stoppage of fuel subsidies.

For a moment, imagine the value US$2.6 billion could add to the Nigerian economy if there was no fuel subsidy. 

However, one thing for sure, Buhari has accepted that indeed fuel subsidy exists. The phenomenon he claimed that doesn’t exist during his presidential campaigns.

As the world continues to wait for the end to climate change, so will Nigerians continue to wait for the change Buhari promised them. 

And as far as I am concerned, Buhari is neither interested in climate change nor the change he promised Nigerians. He is interested in the change that his presidency will bring to his family.
President Buhari and his family - Courtesy of New Telegraph Newspaper
Finally, with the availability of his travelling allowances and security votes (legitimate means of stealing from the government) Buhari will continue to travel around the world under flimsy excuses and in the end, the change to his family will surely materialise.