The final session of The inaugural HOME School concluded in Lagos with an outstanding event at the Afe Babalola Auditorium, University of Lagos, Akoka. The event was organized in partnership with the Department of Mass Communications and was sub-themed ‘Communicating Climate Change: Raising Awareness to Instigate Action.’
The Director of HOMEF, Comrade Nnimmo Bassey administered a warm welcome address with his signature greeting, ‘Good morning in-laws and outlaws’, following the speech from Dr. Ismail Ibraheem of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos. Just like in the Abuja and Benin sessions, he emphasized that young people must learn not to take things at face value. “Nigerians are acclimatizing to the unpredictability of the climate without addressing the reason behind this”, he continued. Comrade Nnimmo Bassey, in accordance with the theme of the event, announced that all necessary tools including music, poetry, dance and painting will be used to best communicate climate change to young audiences and attract the attention of politicians.
As majority of those in the audience were students, staff and activists from higher institutions, the session was specifically tailored towards them. The interaction session highlighted that climate change is not just a crisis of the environment but a crisis of capitalism and of our history. Also, the director of HOMEF reiterated that the stone age did not end for lack of stones and so the fossil fuel age will not end for lack of fossil fuels. “If we don’t stop indiscriminate fossil fuels, fossil fuels will stop us” he stated. He went on to share that the amount of energy wasted in Nigeria yearly is enough to feed all of Sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa. “Gas flaring is in Badagry” he said, ” you don’t have to go to the Niger Delta to see it.” He also specially recognized Tunde Thompson, a popular former journalist who was jailed for activist reporting under the administration of General Muhammadu Buhari.
We need to communicate climate change effectively in order to address it. We want to address how to create action, how to mobilize, how to involve. I use the human fever analogy because it is simple.” began instigator Ambassador Pablo Salon. He went on to say that many international deliberations end up being business as usual and that the real problem behind climate change is capitalism. So, we need to communicate climate change effectively in order to address it.” Upon learning about the Eko Atlantic project and the antagonistic nature of the project to nature and its impending impacts on climate change, he said ‘I want to see Eko Atlantic, why would any one want to build that?’.
The HOME Foundation can be reached at www.homef.org.