Earth Hour: Nigerians lament power failure as lights go off around the world

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As iconic landmarks around the world switched off their lights Saturday evening to mark the Earth Hour, many Nigerians lamented the perennial power failure bedeviling the nation.

Lights dimmed at UN Headquarters, in New York, to observe Earth Hour in 2017. UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Lights dimmed at UN Headquarters, in New York, to observe Earth Hour in 2017. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The Earth Hour initiative, put in place to draw global attention to climate change, began in Australia in 2007 as a grassroots gesture by the World Wildlife Fund, WWF, Australia, against man-made carbon dioxide emissions linked to a warming planet.

On Saturday in Europe, the Coliseum in Rome and the Eiffel Tower were in the dark for an hour.

Similarly, in Australia, the lights went out along the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Earth Hour, according to the organisers, is also intended to raise awareness of the importance of saving electricity.

But many Nigerians used the opportunity to lament the perennial power failure bedevilling the nation.

A cross section of Nigerians took to the social media to bare their minds, noting that they could not be part of the global initiative because they had no electricity.

Others called on the government to urgently look into the power problem.

Abdulhakeem Agboola, reacting to the development in the comment section of PREMIUM TIMES’ Facebook page, said, “Our own (lights) are already switched off, we will just wait for the others to join us at 8.30pm.”

For Olaide Omideyi, another contributor on the page, Nigerians have been “marking the Earth Hour for decades”, as they have always been in darkness.

“The country has been in darkness for so long, the earth itself is commiserating with us,” he wrote.

Abubakar Mohammed, in his submission on the page, noted that the initiative was commendable, as it was targeted at “saving the earth and its creatures”.

“Its a commendable initiative by those who are conscious of the life threatening challenges confronting humanity. May God recognise their individuals and collective efforts to save
living creatures.”

An apparently furious commentator, Akuchie Lambert, said, “This one does not concern Nigerians because we are inured with the situation of having no light for months and weeks. Hence, this news of light going off for one hour is not a news to us at all.”

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES correspondent, Abdulganiy Otuoze, a graduate of Telecommunication Science from the University of Ilorin, said, “We’re observing the ‘lights off’ by default. We’re already in darkness. Ours will even be more than an hour.”

He, however, called on government to fix the power problem.

Organisers of the Earth Hour initiative said they do not audit results of the energy saving initiative, but the
group has commissioned research indicating up to one in four Australians gets involved in the initiative.

The Earth Hour initiative can take credit for various environmental projects, like the 2013 declaration of a 3.4 million hectare marine park in the waters off Argentina, the planting of a forest in Uganda and a ban on soft
plastics in the Galapagos Island, the organisers said.

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