By Kesh Umoh
I woke up to several tags referencing this statement credited to Tinubu. The posts were all mocking him, but since there was no context provided, I ignored those tags believing that maybe he had ‘blow ebóng’ (our slang back in the days when someone said something stupid or out of context).
I was like, ‘Oga Tinubu, which level na? You don do, this Obingos no go allow me rest today”.
I made up my mind not to respond to those tags, after all I’m on sabbatical from Nigerian politics.
However, few minutes ago, I came across the video and after watching it, I was shocked and sad at the level of ignorance on the issue of climate change in the country.
I had to cancel my Sabbatical and get involved in the conversation for the benefit of those who need it. I’ll try to make it as simple as possible.
Climate change is a controversial issue with varying schools of thought, dominated by those who believe that burning of fossil fuel is increasing the earths temperature, such that in the near or distant future, our planet earth will be uninhabitable and totally destroyed. Fossil fuel includes petrol, diesel, kerosene, gas, coal and firewood etc. Even the meat we eat is considered dangerous to the earth because livestock production is considered to contribute 18% of CO2 greenhouse gas emission which they say is responsible for climate change. This group are advocating for the abandonment of fossil fuel and cutdown on livestock production ”to save the earth”.
I hope you get that right. They want the world to stop drilling oil, stop using petrol, and the rest of the fossil fuel.
The opposing school of thought (which I happen to be part of) believe that there is nothing mankind can do to stop the heating of the earth.
As a Geologist, we study the earth in eons (billions of years), and available statistics prove that the earth has been warming and cooling over different eras (eons) without human activity, therefore I believe there is little mankind can do to stop this trend of events. (This is a topic for another day though).
So let’s dive into the phrase by Tinubu, “How do you stop a church rat from eating poisoned communion”.
The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States through fossil fuel. When you talk about ‘developed countries’, ‘saner climes’ or whatever nomenclature you choose to give them, fossil fuel is undisputedly what got them there PERIOD. Fossil fuel industrialized the west, fossil fuel developed the west, fossil fuel is what made them what they are today which you want to japa to.
Now this same west are asking the world to press the brake pedals on fossil fuel.
This is similar to a race which competitors are initially allowed to use any means to get to the destination. Some like the west who started earlier, used motor cars to drive to the destination, and on getting to the destination, they realize that cars are dangerous, so they ask those of us from Africa and Asia just starting the journey to disembark from cars and continue the race on foot.
It’s the height of self destruction for an African to join in advocating for action on Climate change.
No other event can capture hypocrisy and wickedness of the western driven climate change advocacy than the current conflict in Ukraine
It is no news that Russia has cut supplies of oil and gas (fossil fuel) to Europe. Their economies are on the brink of collapse.
The same Europe that has been hammering on Africa, Asia and South America to cut back on fossil fuel has suddenly re-opened their coal plants. Yes, you got that right. Coal is the largest emitter of CO2 greenhouse gas. They are being re-activated in Europe because they have of Russia cutting supplies of energy.
This is simply because they are out of options. They have to somehow provide energy no matter how small and dirty it is.
They are now the “church rat” that has to eat the poisoned communion (fossil fuel).
The West has spent trillions of dollars to transmit from fossil fuel to green energy but the Ukraine conflict has proven that this trillions have barely dented world energy supplies.
Question is: where will Nigeria get trillions of dollars to follow their lead on that road to nowhere?
Tinubu simply meant that just like the Europeans have gone back to eating the “poisoned communion” for lack of options, Nigeria will also continue eating this “poisoned communion” for lack of options also. Another interpretation to his proverb is: if you don’t want the church rat to eat the poisoned communion, then you give it food that is not poisoned meaning for Nigeria to follow you (Europe/US) on that green path, then you also allocate trillions of dollars to us, because you made this money through fossil fuel. You want us to stop using fossil fuel, you give us part of what you made from fossil fuel. FAIR DEAL!
I know you are all in a haste to rubbish Tinubu, but try and be careful before exposing your ignorance to the world.
If I thought that Tinubu was smart, his instantaneous response to the question has proven him much smarter than I could ever imagine. He captured this my lengthy article in just one sentence.
I respect him the more now.
*Kesh Umoh is a Geologist and public affairs analyst