Mayor or may not, Policy is what matters


My name is Chidi Oti Obihara. On instagram I am @green_chidi. And my story of being nominated first to run for MP, then for Mayor in the London borough of Newham is an exciting one ... How does the privately educated son of a one time refugee... and a former banker become a green party activist? ... well by embracing what makes him different.

Location location location: Anyone with south eastern Nigerian roots will know the damage fossil fuel industries can do. And that awareness follows you everywhere.

My borough Newham is made up of over 324,000 people and located just east of canary wharf in London. A diverse place with over a hundred languages spoken and a southern river facing section growing at breakneck speed. Thousands of new flats are springing up fast and proximity to the jobs at Canary Wharf is key. This is very different from the north of the borough with established communities that are more traditionally east end with bustling immigrant communities.

As you can imagine this urban diversity leads to different priorities for voters and parties. The usual labour vs tory differences are subtle here... emphasis varies by party on topics including Crime (knife crime vs theft from local businesses), health (mental health care vs social care), education (religious schools vs academies), jobs (youth unemployment vs small businesses & entrepreneurship)... But there are specific local issue where there is no difference ... both big parties support city airport expansion, both support low regulation private sector housing developers and for them our environment isnt front and centre.

Air pollution and fly tipping are bad in Newham perhaps because no radical opposition exists. It's been 100 percent labour for decades.

These triggered my journey as a "bright green" ... I entered politics wanting a different agenda 3 years ago ... knowing millions of jobs globally and a sustainable development agenda were not high on the agenda. And even though most brexit focused commentators were looking the other way... I have persisted.

Newham is famously phase three of the docklands development masterplan. Tower bridge, wapping and tower hill came first in the 80s... Canary Wharf was second in the 90s and now the Royal Docks is phase three. Because of this we have inner London's largest construction sites. Phase one and two have been missed opportunities for local people...

Despite, perhaps because of this, I am determined to focus on the opportunities our local government has for young people.

Whether I am ever Mayor or not the core of the @green_chidi story is everyday environmental activism... It's about engagement ...My political career is just that too... labels or office... are irrelevant... ideas are core.

I even undertook that if I won the newham mayoral race i will hold a referendum to abolish the post. This is necessary given the tight budgetary choices that need to be made...

But what I really want is a commitment to a circular economy with greater recycling efforts. For example a 100percent organic waste recycling target by 2030... planning to proiritise energy positive developments and low carbon sustainable development.

We all need to be conscious of the environment we live in locally and internationally... we all need new ideas for Britains future beyond were our boarders lie.

Find me on twitter @chidiobihara
On instagram @green_chidi
On Facebook @ChidiOtiObiharaNGP

... and watch me do just that.

Chidi Oti Obihara