24 April 2013

Nigeria: NSA Blames Insecurity On Climate Change

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), Tuesday blamed the widespread insecurity in different parts of the country on the phenomenon of climate change.

He said there was a link between the disruption of local economies and the insurgence of the Boko Haramm sect, the activities of the Niger Delta militants and other groups involved in violence and criminality across the country .

Dasuki, who spoke when he appeared before the House of Representative Committee on Climate Change, suggested the establishment of National Grazing Fields and Cattle Routes in the country to end the recurring clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

The NSA, represented by the Special Adviser on Economic Intelligence, Prof. Soji Adelaja, attributed the growing insecurity on the impact of climate change on the environment and its impact on the means of livelihood of the people.

He explained that the rising sea level in the Niger Delta and the desert encroachment in most parts of northern Nigeria had forced young people out of their traditional occupations.

He said even the herdsmen, who managed to stay on were forced to migrate thousands of kilometres away from their homes in search of green pasture and water, resulting in their involvement in conflicts with farmers.

The NSA, who described the situation as disturbing, disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan recently held a meeting with state governors to find ways of stemming the tide of insecurity in the country.

The meeting, he said, discussed the possibility of establishing grazing routes to ensure that herdsmen no longer clashed with crop farmers.

He solicited the cooperation of the National Assembly to help in the formulation of a legislation for the establishment of National Grazing Route, describing the measure as the most effective way of addressing the problem.

On how to avoid a repeat of last year's flooding, the NSA called for the collaboration of the three-tiers of government in raising resources needed to check the menace.

He said given the early warnings made by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for the 2013, all hands should be on deck to ensure that flood disasters do not occur again.

Chairman, House Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Eziuche Ubani, attributed the persistent problem of Climate Change to the inability of the federal government to take up the challenge seriously.

He reiterated the position of the NSA that there was a nexus between climate change and the current insecurity in the country.

Ubani charged the federal government to explore ways of addressing the recurring loss of lives and property as a result of clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

He gave the assurance that the House was prepared to work with the executive to enact laws that will give teeth to government policies on the issue.

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