Water Resources Bill, Assault On True Federalism-ASETU

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Urges southern senators to reject it

By Martin Opara

Aify Global

The Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), comprising Presidents General of Town Unions in the entire South East geopolitical zone has raised alarm over alleged desperate attempt by Northern oligarchs, their sponsors and agents, to ensure that the “Water Resources Bill that was thrown out by the 8th National Assembly because of it’s ill motivated intention of erasing every semblance of true federalism from Nigeria and consolidating a unitary system, aimed at dispossessing Southerners of their land and water resources is pushed through the national assembly with executive support and manipulation.

ASETU, in a release signed on it’s behalf by Chief Emeka Diwe National President and Hon. Gideon Adikwuru, National Secretary, stated that, the bill which it’s sponsors allegedly designed and packaged to inadvertently give the federal government absolute powers to take control of water resources all over the country, also empowers it to control about 3 kilometers radius of water bodies, which, by implication, hands over control of the entire water and land resources in the country that ordinarily belong to states and local communities to the federal government”. This unfettered access, serves the interest of Northern elites who have monopolized the oil sector and now want to assuage the desire of the Fulani agro-bourgeoisie, who have not relented in their desperate effort to decimate us and convert our lands to grazing fields for their cattle”.

The release averred that, by virtue of Section 13 of the bill which states, that, “in implementing the principles under Subsection (2) of this Section, the institutions established under the Act, shall promote integrated water resources management and the coordinated management of land and water resources, surface water and ground water resources, river basins and adjacent marine and coastal environment and upstream and downstream interests”. While Section2(1) of the bill, which states that, “all surface water and ground water, wherever it occurs, is a resource common to all people”, means that the affected states will ultimately become no man’s land. It is also a subtle attempt at tacitly terminating the federal structure of Nigeria and covertly reintroduce RUGA. This is an aberration in a federation and should not be allowed to stand, under any circumstance”.

“We reject it in all ramifications and call on all Senators of Southern extraction to reject and commit this ill-motivated and anti people bill to the museum of history. This will be a test case of their integrity, will and capacity to resist unlawful invasion of and onslaught on the peoples rights and interests”.             

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