Our attention has been drawn to an obnoxious bill described as water bill, a criminal bill which was first brought to the floor of the 8th national assembly and was rejected.
This is another attempt to cease every oil in Niger delta having all oil in the region located in land and waters. It is an attempts to stop the small oil royalty being enjoyed by the region.
It is shameful and disappointing that same bill has made it way back to the 9th national assembly through the backdoors with an intent of stealing water and land resources of the Niger Delta People.
We wish to state unequivocally that the water bill seeking to annex Niger Delta water and land is criminal and unpopular and that Niger will go to war to defend her God given water and lands even if it causes losing our last blood.
It should be noted that Buhari never means well for Nigerians, he brought criminal Hate Speech Bill and “anti-Social Media” Bill, he had also pushed for the RUGA policy which had to be suspended because Nigerians strongly rejected it.
The Water Resources Bill 2020”, Section 13, under subsection (2) of this section states that, the institutions established under this 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.” Section 2(1) of the Bill, says: “All surface water and ground water wherever it occurs, is a resource common to all people.”
The Bill seeks to empower the Federal Government to control all sources of water in Nigeria, which means the Federal Government can permit anybody or group of persons from any region of the country and to go and take possession of any water resource without the consent of the original owners.
It should be on record that we will not accept this move by the Federal government to short-change Niger Deltans of our rights to water and land resources. If we allow it the government will one day wake up and say Niger Deltans should buy water from the open river and underground before they can used it directly from the rivers and under ground boreholes.
The water bill is criminal and it should be outrightly rejected as it is another push for the defeated RUGA bill packaged to grab people’s lands to set up grazing reserves or cattle ranches.
If this Bill is allowed, herdsmen under “federal” mandate, can take over lands adjoining the springs, streams, rivers, lakes, lagoons and coastal precincts which have served as means of livelihood for the local communities since the dawn of time.
The bill abuses the constitutional powers of the state governors to hold land resources in trust for the people of their states.
This Bill is viewed as another political ploy by the Federal Government to deprive Niger Delta of their natural resources for the benefit of others without the voluntary consent of the resources owners.
If the need for Niger delta to go to war to defend her ancestry land arises, we will not hestate to embark on such war.
Signed comrade Ozobo Austin
National President Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI.