“It is our collective responsibility to protect the environment.” – Remarks made by Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the screening of Yar’adua Foundation’s “Nowhere To Run” at Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna on the 3rd of November, 2016.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the screening of this documentary film; Nowhere To Run. I was at the viewing with some of you yesterday in Abuja, and I must say that the revelations were quite depressing shocking.
This documentary has brilliantly brought the issue of the devastating effects of climate change to the minds of Nigerians, by highlighting the already existing dangers we are as a people are faced with.
All around us, we can see the devastating effects on our environment. In the South West, we can see shore lines depleting. In the Niger-Delta region, the oil spill is regarded as one of the worst cases in the world, affecting the livelihood and survival of our brothers and sisters, up North it is deforestation, floods and rapid desertification.
In 2005, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ranked Nigeria as having the highest rate of deforestation in the world.
Deforestation, desertification, gas flaring and other harmful practices put our economy and the environment at risk.
Here in Kaduna State, we inherited a situation in which nearly 40% of our state, local government and communal forests have been dereserved or stolen, and converted to personal uses. We are taking far reaching steps to recover them.
In Kaduna State we immediately recognized the need to tackle these environmental challenges. On the 30th of June, 2016 we launched the Keep Kaduna Green Project with the objective of planting at least 3 million trees in 3 years across the state.
This is in addition to the 535 kilometers of shelterbelt of cashew, Shea butter, palm, Jathropha and other economic trees along our borders with Katsina, Zamfara and Kano states, stretching from Kubau,Ikara, Giwa and Birnin Gwari local governments.
We intend to achieve many goals with the project; check desertification, beautify our neighbourhoods and create jobs for those who will nurture these trees.
As we proceed to see this documentary film, I will like to remind us all that it is our collective responsibility to protect the environment for our children and their children. The attitude that environmental issues should be handled by the government alone is harmful and should be discarded.
We can no longer continue running. We must all come together to win this fight to protect our environment for generations yet unborn.
I will like to thank my sister Jackie Farris and all the good people at The Yar’adua Foundation and those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to produce this historic film “Nowhere to Run”.
I want to pay tribute to the memories of both late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and the Tim’s narrator Ken Saro Wiwa Jr. May their souls rest in perfect peace, Amen.
Finally, I want to assure you of the Kaduna State Government’s support in continuing advocacy and enlightenment around this subject. We have invited all the members of our State executive Council, Permanent Secretaries and Special Advisers to attend this screening. We intend to partner with The Yar’adua Foundation in its campaign for environmental protection.
Subject to the agreement of our State Executive Council and consent of our legislature, we hope to work with the foundation in ensuring that the film will be reproduced or re-presented with narration in Hausa language to broaden the sensitization campaign. We believe that the message should be heard and seen by all the citizens of Kaduna State by God’s Grace.
Thank you all for listening. God Bless you all.