...Warns Participants at International Peace Day that Nature Strikes Back When Attacked
The National Coordinator of Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade has warned against bastardizing the environment so that it does not fight back in the form of disasters.
Comrade Mulade who gave the warning in his remarks to mark the International Day of Peace at Effurun, Delta State, told students and community people at the event that the environment is critical to the survival of mankind and therefore it should be protected.
He said it is wrong to view peace from the angle of conflicts among human beings alone, stressing that peace is not just the absence of war but it is the creation of conditions of harmony in the way people live with one another to forestall conflicts from occurring.
The NGO leader noted that World Peace Day is not only about peace among people but also about peace between people and the natural environment or the planet Earth.
He lamented that for more than a century now, human beings have been at war with planet Earth and undermining it even when it is the only place we live on. He then called for concerted efforts at sustaining the natural environment for today's generation and those to come.
He said mankind is at war with nature, noting that nature strikes back when severely attacked. In what looks like poetry, Comrade Mulade said when nature gets angry, it does not forgive, and when it is attacked, it strikes back, that is why in most riverine communities whose environments have been destroyed and polluted by oil exploration and exploitation activities, it is difficult for animals to survive, and residents breathe in polluted air and drink contaminated water.
He said climatic issues have today become topics for discussion in Nigeria because nature is angry, emphasizing the need for all to make peace with nature so as to reduce conflicts among people. He noted that in some parts of Nigeria today, climate change has caused severe drought and desertification, hence farmers and herders who had been at peace with each other for years, now clash due to scarcity of water and green pasture.
According to the CEPEJ Coordinator, the fact that farmers and herders belong to different ethnic groups and sometimes different religions, tends to create a pattern of conflict in that sub region which helps the spread of Boko Haram insurgency and herdsmen terrorism, two security issues that threaten peace in Nigeria today.
He said climate action for peace as the theme for this year's universal day of peace was apt because it is essential for man to be in harmony with nature towards strengthening peace among human beings.
He advised that everyone's watch word should be zero carbon emissions while we should protect and sustain the forest to help absorb emitted carbon.
He noted even if governments still lack the political will, even if we are still unable to fully make peace with nature, there is hope, as the youths are clearly saying that we need to change course and the time to do so is now. He commended Delta State youths for participating in the world peace event like their counterparts elsewhere demonstrating few days ago and calling for peace with nature, describing their presence as very important for CEPEJ's work.
Comrade Mulade urged the youths to be very clear when they talk to their friends, parents and community leaders that they want peace with nature without which nature will suffer and man will be doomed from one generation to another.