7th June, 2010
Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire, dressed like one of the actors in the 1970’s television series, â€˜Village Headmaster,â€™ clutched the handle bars of his bicycle as he rode on.
He staggered and almost fell butÂ he struggled with the bicycle and maintained a sort of balance.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Rotimi Agunsoye proved to be more of an expert than Banire as he rode on his bicycle masterfully from the Lagos State Government Secretariat, Alausa to Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria and back again to the same spot.
He braved on despite the perspiration and never allowed anything to distract his attention as he enjoyed himself.
At least, 100 Lagosians had gathered at the secretariat at the weekend to embark on a bicycle ride from the secretariat to Ikeja and back, as part of activities to mark this yearâ€™s World Environment Day, with a bid to sensitise Lagosians on the need to wage war against global warming by reducing the rate of carbon emission into the environment.
â€œThe ride is great; it is good to ride to be fit.Â Â If you wake up in the morning and do some exercises, you will be fit.Â Â I enjoyed the ride, I feel great,â€ said Agunsoye.
However, Banire said the essence of the ride was to send the message to all to reduce carbon emission going into the air, adding that â€œyou can necessarily walk without using auto-bike at times or you ride a bicycle.Â There is need to reduce carbon emission through other alternative, you can ride bicycle instead of always riding a car.â€
As part of activities marking the World Environment Day, Banire had in a state wide broadcast on Lagos Television spoken on the need to consciously monitor the environment and ensure that it was not degraded through emission of dangerous fumes into the atmosphere.
â€œThere is no gainsaying that, the theme of this yearâ€™s World Environment Day: Many Species, One Planet, One Future, is most apt at a time when many insects, plants, reptiles, fishes and animals are disappearing from the surface of the earth. This stems from the fact that, human activities in all ramifications affect the environment, either positively or negatively. It thus intensifies the urgent call to conserve our biodiversity.
“It is glaring that we are living in uncertain times as far as weather forecast is concerned. Nothing seems to be certain anymore. Unlike before, the wind and precipitation patterns no longer conform to precise predictions. The rate at which the coastal communities are threatened by erosion is an indication that unless we take urgent steps the lives and properties of our people living in such communities are in danger of being wiped off.
â€œDeforestation and other forms of environmental degradation are widespread and are resulting in the degradation of ecosystems that naturally play a moderating role in the global carbon cycle and, therefore, in the climate,â€ Banire stated.
According to him, â€œthe unabashed pollution of our water bodies is a high disincentive for biodiversity. We have turned our water bodies- lagoon, streams, rivers, drains and so on to receptacles for all sorts of waste. Tones of human, solid and liquid wastes are discharged directly into the water bodies introducing lead and other dangerous pollutants which threaten aquatic life.
â€œThe effects of climate change have been wide spread in Nigeria. Its effects stare us in the face: the threatening encroachment of the Sahara desert on 11 states of the north spells doom for food security; massive gully erosions have become common phenomenon; flood and acid rain threatens the south- south; while in the south west, ocean surge remains relentless with tidal waves washing the beaches away.â€