Ohanaeze Youth Council Rejects Water Resource Bill

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v  Say it is Fulani expansionist agenda

The youth arm of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, “the Ohaneze Youth Council” has lent her voice behind the rejection of the reintroduced proposed bill on National Water Resources management by the National Assembly which it observed is not for the common interest of all Nigerians but an interest agenda of the Fulani expansionism and domination. The group described it as a time bomb that will explode with time into a catastrophe if planted by the National Assembly.

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In a statement made available to the media in Owerri on Tuesday September 1, 2020 by the National President of the council, Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka endorsed and issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Comrade Chukwuemeka Chimerue,the Ohanaeze Youth Council, after a careful study of the proposed water bill, lent its voice to the rejection of the plan to re-introduce the proposed National Water Resources Management Bill by the National Assembly.

Speaking further, Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, OYC, urged the National Assembly members of the Igbo extraction and Southern Nigeria Legislators at large to roundly and unanimously reject the Bill as it seeks to promote the Fulani expansionist agenda of grabbing the lands and depriving indigenous fishermen and farmers of their natural sources of living.

Comrade Igboayaka O Igboayaka who noted that the controversial Executive Bill which is similar to the widely rejected Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) by Nigerians was first sent to the legislature in May 2017, debated by the lower chamber as far back as July 2017 before it was roundly rejected by the Bukola Saraki-led 8th Senate, wondering why the Federal Government is hellbent on imposing the Bill on the country despite its rejection by citizens.

OYC was particularly piqued that the revisiting of the controversial Bill as an executive bill, originating from the presidency, seeks to place exclusive control of the country’s water resources, including all the rivers and lakes across the states, under the control of the Federal Government.

“The proposed bill which is currently before the 9th Senate, if passed into law, will transfer ownership of every lake, every river including the creeks or ancestral waters to the FG. It will repeal the Water Resources Act and will further encroach on the lands and other timeless heritages of the Eastern people. It is simply a strategy for dispossession which is not what the country needed at this point in time.

If the controversial Bill is not a careful plot for internal colonialism and to deprive states of the little benefits they derive from oil and other natural resources, in disguise, we want to ask the President why he is so much interested in all the rivers and their banks. If the Federal Government controls all rivers and their undefined banks, what happens to oil wells in the creeks that are onshore and other economic activities in other states at the banks? They still have a lot of explanations to offer to the masses and wait for their verdict,” it stated.

OYC noted, in particular, that the 9th Senate under Ahmed Lawan is working seriously to discredit itself as a rubber-stamp assembly and going overboard with the execution of the overreaching and domination agenda of the president and his cronies. “When it appears that the RUGA scheme is doomed to fail, they now want to introduce the water resources bill that could not scale through the 8th Senate, through the back door”, the group warned.

Comrade Igboayaka regretted that the Northern Elders Forum that rejected the new constitutional review committee that would pave way to redefined Nigeria  are busy seeking  water way bill that will sink Nigeria.  He stressed that the water way bill is like a time bomb that will explode Nigeria into many pieces if the architects of this fulanization bill didn’t withdraw their plans immediately.

Some other interest groups had earlier condemned the recent re-introduction of the bill which seems to be parochial, obnoxious and cannot find answers to the discord amongst the various indigenous ethnic groups especially between farmers and herders who have been involved in intractable battles over grazing for about a decade now.

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