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Checking Climate change through legislation

President Muhammadu Buhari (seated) at the signing of Parish agreement on climate change at the UN headquarters New York on  Sept 2, 2016. From left is Rep. Sam Onuigbo, the sponsored of the Climate Change Bill, Mr Abubakar Malami, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Amina Muhammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, and Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and others
By Femi Ogunshola (NANFeature)

Before now, climate change was the most formidable threat to security in Nigeria following constant danger to lives and order and other varying forms of social disruptions driven primarily by human activity.


The burning of fossil fuels and removal of forests, resulting in a relatively rapid increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to a number of people suffering from the catastrophic effects of extreme disasters.


Such disaster is said to be aggravated by climate change from prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa to devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific.


Sensing the need to arrest such a looming disaster that could bring untold hardship to the citizenry, Rep. Sam Onuigbo, member, representing, Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency of Abia State deemed it fit to introduce Bill on Climate Change.


Though, the journey to Nigeria getting a Climate Change Act was long and tortuous. However, the success recorded with President Muhammadu Buhari assenting to the Bill passed by 9th Assembly, glosses over the pains.


Today, Nigeria now has a Climate Change Act which will guide Nigeria in her decarbonization efforts, this is to ensure that Nigeria justly transit to net zero, bring requisite attention to the menace of climate change


Meanwhile, the climate change Act provides for, among other things, the mainstreaming of climate change actions and the establishment of a National Council on Climate Change.

The Act also paves the way for environmental and economic accounting and a push for a net zero emission deadline plan in the country.

The act also provide funding for adaptation and mitigation measures including nature-based solutions, create employment for the teaming youth, and also help in the journey towards green recovery


It will ultimately ensure that the country sustainably develop while preserving the earth for the future generation.


The success recorded in the Climate Change Bill was made possible with the untiring and unrelenting effort of Onuigbo, who started the move in the 8th Assembly but was scuttled.


However, his return in the 9th Assembly was the turning point, though it wasn’t a one-man show, his sense of commitment to the Bill was unparalleled.


Onuigbo first term in 2015 at the House of Representatives was quite impactful, but again broke the jinx in 2019 and became the first to secure a second term in Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency of Abia State


Today, three years into that mandate and seven years of sojourn in the House of Representatives, he has demonstrated a huge sense of responsibility as a lawmaker saddled with the responsibility of lawmaking for the country.


Onuigbo’s name resonates in Nigeria and abroad, because without his tenacity of purpose at ensuring the climate change become a reality, there wouldn’t have been anything called Climate Change Act.


His desire to remain resolute with the Bill having sponsored it in the 8th Assembly without the necessary result but again represented it in the 9th assembly, ensuring it came to fruition


History was made the day the President signed the Bill into law, Onuigbo has ultimately engraved his name in the sands of time


Similarly, the dilapidated Umuahia-Ikot-Ekpene Road in Abia State has often got his interventions as work is currently ongoing on the road


Though in 2021, the lawmaker defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), however, his passion for altruistic services has been unrivaled


What may however be counting for the lawmaker is fact that his constituents equally understand the man they have in Onuigbo


On Friday, May 6, 2022, Onuigbo answered the call of moving to the Senate to represent Abia Central Senatorial District; to him it was a clarion call.


Onuigbo with alias Odozi Obodo see his people as his strength and if they delivered in the past, breaking the jinx of a second timed, then the future is assured, premising his campaign slogan on EAR


According to him, E-Effectiveness, A-Accessibility and R-Responsiveness, adding that his intention is to be effective when in the plenary and during senate committee sittings


“I will be accessible to my people who have used their power of their thumbs to elevate me to such a high position


“I am going to be responsive to the legitimate aspiration and concerns of my constituents according to the resources and opportunity available to me


“The fact that they have use their thumb to elevate me should not make me inaccessible to them, so it is only when they are accessible they can come out to say their legitimate aspirations and concerns


“My people have seen me to be effective in the way I have represented them by facilitating projects, presenting their motions; they have also found out that they can reach me anywhere, anytime.


“It is by their power that I am here, I will be responding to their legitimate aspirations, challenges according to resources available to me,” he said.


He expressed confidence in winning the senatorial seat, adding that out of the four contestants that had purchased the APC expression of interest form, he tower far above them in winning the primaries.


He said that this was premised on his promised that he was going to redefine representation which according to him he has done successfully.


“I have moved away from the prism of he has built skyscraper , built hotel , look at his convoy now  using the power to impact meaningfully and productively on the wellbeing of my constituency.


“I have demonstrated this convincingly, in fact it is my constituency that are encouraging me to run for this position,”


Onuigbo said that despite Abia being perceived as PDP dominated area, the people are now wiser and smarter, as the only thing that matters to them is the candidate and not the party.


According to him, the PDP is supposed to pose a serious threat where there have been good governance but we have the people that have been voting one way for 24 years


“My people have no basic of evidence of good governance, so why will they want to do the same thing after nearly a quarter of a century without result.


He said that the failure of the ruling party in the state to bring good governance is what is enhancing chances, adding that the people are tired. (NAN)


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