Citizens’ Climate International Nigeria makes History
by Joseph Ibrahim, National Volunteer Manager at Citizens’ Climate International in Nigeria
Earlier this week, CCI Nigeria members, composed of volunteers from CCI Abuja group, CCI Kaduna group and CCI Uniabj converged at the National Assembly premises in Nigeria to make history. Together with a team of 22 climate advocates from Benue, Kogi and Nasarawa States, CCI Nigeria made giant strides in building the political will for climate action and carbon pricing.
The National Lobby Day commenced on Monday the 25th of October, 2021 with a training of climate advocates and CCI Nigeria members on the act of lobbying by David Michael Terungwa whom is the Africa Regional Coordinator of Citizens Climate International. Mr. David, took the participants through the 5-levers of building political will and demonstrated in practical terms the act of lobbying through a mock lobbying exercise. Thereafter, participants practiced in different groups how they were going to present CCI Nigeria’s lobbying to the legislators.
On the bright and sparkling morning of Tuesday, 26th October, 2021, the team approached the National assembly complex with twisted feelings of excitement and trepidation with uncertainty of how events will pan out. After a few hitches at the entrance of the complex, the team proceeded to capture this historical moment in still pictures. Thereafter, one after the other, 5 different groups went in search of their designated Senator or House of Representative member.
After about 3 hours of scanning for the offices of their designated legislators, the group returned with bursting euphoria of the feat they just achieved. Two (2) of the groups, successfully met their designated legislators while the other three (3) dropped letters for with the secretaries.
The feedback from politicians on our efforts are telling. Not only have the legislators asked for an official communication of our lobbying ask but their counterparts who were not present to receive the advocates are have begun requesting for a rescheduled meetings.
In retrospect, our first National Climate Lobby Day presents light at the end of the tunnel for climate advocacy in Nigeria and hope for our democratic process.