The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has advised Nigerians to elect leaders who are passionate about climate change.
The former vice president gave the counsel after his visit to Bayelsa where severe flooding has damaged lives, livelihoods and property.
Atiku promised to retool disaster awareness apparatus, such as Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA), to better forecast and provide warning signals.
The PDP flagbearer also hinted that the Nigerian Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) should be reformed for adequate preparation and response.
Atiku said attention would be given to the Dasin-Hausa Dam in Adamawa State to manage the release of excess water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.
The candidate stressed the need to dredge rivers and estuaries through which inland waters empty into the sea to stem flooding in the Niger Delta.
“If we get our politics wrong by electing leaders who choose to play politics with climate change, and refuse to make necessary investments in smart solutions, we will be living in the relics of times past, unmindful of our attendant vulnerabilities,” he said.
Atiku accused the President Muhammadu Buhari administration of not showing leadership and empathy in the management of the disastrous 2022 flooding.
He added that climate change is real and charged governments at all levels to activate measures to forestall expected food shortages and high cost of food.
The ex-VP, however, made a plea for the establishment of a temporary fund for farmers to ameliorate their losses and give them capital for the 2023 planting season.