At a time when most Nigerians across the nation feel abandon by their government especially over the constant internal security challenge from boko haram, relentless violent attack by northern herdsmen, daily tales of unbelievable corruption, failure of government to understand or meet the needs of its people which often leads to complete disconnect of government from those they swore to make their lives relatively better and the country great again. An unlikely hero emerges from the shackles of disappointment, lowered expectation and hopeless to become the rallying point at home and aboard, inspiring millions across the globe to become the best version of themselves no matter the circumstance, that hero is Gbujie Daniel Chidubem.

Thankfully, the few Nigerians like Gbujie Daniel constantly reminds the world that great things can still come out from total chaos. Gbujie’s encourage to rise above the darkness that often clouds progress in Africa’s biggest democracy must be commended, because appearing on the global stage, and addressing millions on how to adapt to the growing challenges bedevilling the entire world is indeed remarkable and worth writing about in today’s world.

Margaret Mead said and I quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.

The above quote summaries this true-life inspiring story of this exceptional African with a Nigerian parentage from South-Eastern part of the nation, whose journey to the global platform for this global advocate has made him a rallying point for many global citizens of the world.

His story, started after he was selected by the World Medical Association (WMA) to be part of the delegation to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change {UNFCCC} often called COP in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016 .

“It was my first global exposure to the challenges of Climate Change and its destructive impact which distorts socioeconomic determinant and afters the overall well being of the people in the affected nations, I was further alarmed when the scientist and experts warned that Sea temperatures may continue to increase as we approach the end of this century and such rise in sea temperature will resulting in significant change in global weather patterns leading to extremes of climatic variables like flooding , powerful storms, coastal erosion and Ocean acidification which pose a threat to the ocean biodiversity,” he said.

Gbujie said that this position was restated by the Deputy Secretary General Ms. Amina J Mohammed at the COP 22.

“ It struck a chord in me and when I heard that it may well be a contributing factor to the relentless violent conflict between herdsmen in the northern part of Nigeria and sedentary farmers in the southern part, which has led to loss of thousands of lives across my country. I knew something had to be done,” he said.

Gbujie said after thinking it through, and developing the concepts to address the crisis, he founded an organization and created immediately an online platform to raise awareness and then devised ways to carry out urgent climate actions. He called the group TEAM 54 PROJECT after the number of African nations,  a not-for-profit body, whose core mandate is to raise awareness about the impact of Climate Change and the need to take urgent global actions.

“ I knew had to first build personal intellectual capacity and understand the Climate Change science, it lead me to do more research and later I found out about an international training programme on climate change organized by Climate Reality Project an NGO founded and chaired by former Vice-President of United State of America Mr. Albert Gore, so I applied,” he said. Gbujie was one of the few lucky Africans admitted to the program, to commence training on the 2nd March 2017 in Colorado, Denver USA.

At the venue of the program, he had a life-changing encounter with Mr. Al Gore, at the lobby area of the Colorado Convention Centre, while trying to assist a countryman who also arrived for the same training secure a near by hotel accommodation. Gbujie with the elderly man approached a member of  the organizing Staff across the lobby for help, as she was about to assist, Mr. Al Gore passed by to say hello to her then he turned around star stroked to greet him in his usual African attire dress, “ that’s a wonderful dress you’ve got there hope you enjoyed the opening ceremony today, “he said. They then continued discussing for about 8 minutes about Climate actions and Journey ahead. Gbujie told our told after the encounter I knew what I need to do to fight Climate Change.

“Al Gore stressed to me the need to attend all the training sessions and interact more with other participants because the partnership between people that share common objective often create an extraordinary result, he was absolutely right I went on to meet a Climate Reality Leader who was nice and down to Earth, Ms. Mariam Milagros Gomez and hails from the Philippines,“ he said.  They both ended up organizing an international climate change conference approved by the central government.  It was the first of its kind by a foreign-based group in the wonderful City of Catbalogan in Samar, Province in the Philippines. The event was supported by the City Mayor Ms. Stephanie Uy-Tan who has succeed to push her city to achieve over 75% sustainability rating while delivering an all-inclusive people centred agenda.

“At some point in my journey, I needed to reinvent myself especially whenever am about to take a bigger step or make a serious move; it is often rewarding to be able to make this level of impact and then stop to reflect back, this approach gives me time to think about my tomorrow with the actions I will take today, this way I get the window seat to the future and reappraise my situation, ”he said.

Gbujie was one of the guest speakers at the 5th World Climate Change and Global Warming Conference which held on 24th-25th May 2018, presenting a paper titled “Is Climate Change the ARMAGEDDON THAT WAS FORETOLD: THE REVIEW,” hispresentation was said to be stellar performance and was adjudged by other speakers as one the best presentation , he was later Awarded a Certificate of Achievement by the organizer, in attendance at the Award Ceremony with glowing recommendation were renowned scientist like Prof Nils-Axel Morner, a Professor of Quaternary Geology at Stockholm University and former Head of the Prestigious Institute of Geodynamics in Sweden and the Prof Don Easterbrook of Western Washington University, a former US representative to the UN International Geological Correlation Program and a man mentioned by the American Men of Science as one of “The Most Influential Scientists in the whole of North America”

“Climate Change is a challenge that no one country or organization can solve by themselves, therefore we must collaborate and harness the talents and skills from every citizen in order to tackle this existential threat,” Gbujie said.

Gbujie leads a group of some 103 forward-thinking country coordinators in his organization, who are totally committed to galvanizing simple global climate actions among their respective country residents with a view to creating a sustainable future. Together with the backing of a dynamic Board Chairman Mr. Matthew Bonnstetter, an American with over 28years experience of Climate justice and advocacy and a membership of over 108,000 persons from 169 nations. They passionately apply their different skills, talents and collectively coordinate shared actions which culminates into tackling the crisis, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and eventually climate risks.  It is his journey and that of his organization that caught the attention of the United Nations and necessitated his invitation to be part of the selected group of young minds that have done great work in ensuring that mankind stay on the path of sustainability .

It is worth noting that the UN application process to select or invite is usually bombarded with hundreds of thousands of applications from people all over the World. The United Nations then forms an international selection committee, whose job is to sieve through all the applications and knock off odd candidates that don’t meet the UN requirements but the applications of extraordinary achievers are left in the pool, then comes the verification phase which often involves the collaborative effort from both the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly and that of the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Services {UN-NGLS}. Finally the reply is sent to the successive delegate, Gbujie got his invitation to be part of the Youth Dialogue with the President of the United Nations General Assembly Mr. Miroslav Lajcak, along with 90 other outstanding young minds from across the globe.

“I was further humbled, when he requested that I join him along the few invited delegates at a Pre-conference Mocktail Reception at the East Promenade zone in the UN Headquarters in New York, USA,” he said.

At the Mocktail reception, Gbujie explained that he encountered a great motivational leader in the President of the UN General Assembly, Gbujie said he was educated and mentored in the over 15 minutes of engaging with him.

Mr. Miroslav Lajcak gave his reasons for inviting them to Gbujie. He explained that whenever he thinks of dialogue, the most important part of dialogue is the listening part and not necessarily the talking part. Gbujie was told by Mr. Lajcak that, the UN needs to listen to young creative minds like them and many more who were not fortunate to attend the event. He stressed the facts that young people were the largest demographic group in the world today, there voices need to be heard and youths need to be included in all global discussions that affect mankind.

“The President of UN General Assembly reiterated to me that he was convening a Youth Dialogue summit the following day Tuesday 30th May 2018 because he wanted to assist in breaking down the walls between young people and the UN,” Gbujie said.

Gbujie thanked Mr. Miroslav Lajcak for the invitation and told he was looking forward to the opening ceremony event, He took some pictures with him and shortly afterward Mr. Miroslav  was went to the podium to welcome other guests who now had gathered for the Mocktail reception, many of the invited guests were surprised that, I had been discussing with him all along, he reiterated what he had told me earlier and asked that we relax and prepare well for the opening ceremony .

The Opening ceremony of the Youth dialogue on 30th May 2018 started by 10.00am and ended by 6.30pm, and it was not too different from the previous day encounter at the Mocktail reception with the conclusion that the United Nations relevancy will greatly depend a lot on youth involvement and not the other way around.

Mr. Miroslav stated during is welcome address speech that there was a growing demand to see that youth voices across all the organs of the UN and democratic government are heard, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake also stressed the need to see young people not as a liability but as an assets, and to see how they can be proactively engaged at all levels.

Gbujie in discussion with few delegate at the mocktail reception

Gbujie was also one of the 25 youths selected to speak at the magnificent ECOSOC Conference Hall in the UN Headquarters on 30th of May 2018 where heads of international agencies affiliated with the UN and various Governments where present and officials at the UN were watching the proceeding. Indeed he spoke and delivered a wonderful speech which was followed quickly by thunderous applaud and commendation by the organizers and other participants.

“Selecting my organization and speaking at the UN has being one of the happiest day of my quest on Earth, I will give praise to the Almighty for that, then will thank my lovely wife Ezioma who suggested the approach that I should use to achieve maximum impact, my relatives back in Akabor, Ahiazu-Mbaise, Imo State, one notable person is my Mum Deaconess Joy Gbujie who stood by me throughout, and special appreciation must go to the TEAM 54 PROJECT members, mentors, and collaborative partners like, needlab, JAYGOE, GiveBack-Nigeria, Climate Reality Project, and RISING HOPE FOUNDATION FOR CHANGE,  but mobilizing and coordinating our members to touch peoples lives and watching them transform is above all the best experience attained,”he said.

The unfolding tale is a testament to this young Nigerian character, perseverance, maturity and sheer determination to rise above all the adversity thrown at him.

Furthermore, when asked 5 days ago at the SDGs Media Room what was the driving force in his organization, he said “It is his ability to create innovative content for the organization and inspire his members to express themselves passionately using their skills, and talent to address the climate change crisis“.

The testimonies have been pouring in from his members all across the globe especially from areas like Poetry, Artworks, Technological innovations, Music, organizing Social programmes like Clean-up exercise, digitized messaging, collaborative partnerships, Social Media Usage, and Application all have .

In bringing this story to its end, it must be stated that hard work, dedication, and resilience demonstrated under pressure is perhaps the darker side of achievement, but is in many ways just as important as the more obvious markers of success.

“The advanced nations and UN must be able to transfer the need knowledge and expertise of how these nations can responsibly manage their respective natural resources which I believe is the main element in achieving true sustainability and getting total participation from the indigenous residents in the vulnerable communities reassess,” he said.

Finally, People like Gbujie appear once in a generation and are rare to find. These extraordinary kind of people go by many names across the planet but the few common names associated with them are the achievers, change makers, and inspirational leaders, which to me makes them the true Earth Champions — these exceptional group of individual like Dr. Gbujie Daniel Chidubem, reminds us that we should be defined by how we use our creative abilities to expand innovative concepts which can be used as a force for good in the world ,.whenever we do these things we succeed in our true purpose of making a difference in the world and among people that live on Earth.

Gbujie is indeed a shining and welcoming example to both youth and adult across the world.

Author. David Mctaggat Kyle is a British blogger, Journalist , and Eco-friendly advocate, and has volunteered for many Greenpeace international missions. He was invited to the Youth Dialogue.

CULLED FROM Nigerian Voice Website