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Niger Delta Governors, Lawmakers, Others Urged to Resist Proposed Water Resources Bill

The group described the bill as evil, repressive and a complete misplacement of priorities.

A group of Ibibio ethnic nationality, the Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, has urged governors and National Assembly members from the Niger Delta region and other coastal states in Nigeria to rise against the proposed Water Resoures Bill being put forward for consideration at the National Assembly.

The body in a communique issued at the end of its Central Working Committee (CWC),weekend, in Uyo, signed by its International President, Akparawa James Edet and International Secretary, Akparawa (Elder) Bassey Bassey, said, this was the time for all the governors and National Assembly members from the coastal region, irrespective of party affiliations to unite and frustrate the bill.

The group described the bill as evil, repressive, a complete misplacement of priorities and an attempt to deprive the people of the Niger Delta region and other coastal states resources freely given to them by God and by such action, as well as further impoverish them.

According to the communique, the group reasoned that, “A bill, which aims to confer ownership, control and management of surface and underground waters on the federal government, like what is obtainable in petroleum resources, is an affront to the sensibilities of our people, which must be rejected and fought with all peaceful and constitutional means available to ensure it does not see the light of the day.”

It, therefore, called on members of the National Assembly and the federal government to resist every temptation by the promoters of “this evil and obnoxious bill to exacerbate the already shouldering schisms in our country, which have brewed mistrust fueled by actions, inactions, policies and lopsided appointments to key positions in favour of a particular section of the country.”

The group said the federal government should be worried over a situation, where our students have been grounded at home for over six months due to the ASUU strike; a time insecurity has attained monumental proportions with killings and abductions for ransom.

It maintained further that the federal government should be concerned at a time that the country’s currency, the naira, was on a free fall and at its lowest ebb ever in the history of our country; at a time enterprises are shutting down and foreign investors are leaving the country due to unbearable operational costs and poor economic policies.

“What should preoccupy policy makers in our nation should be how to channel all energy and resources towards tackling those issues and not to plunge the country into more avoidable crisis, with such a highly contentious bill, which is suspected to have been put forward to serve sinister and sectional interests.

“That working with other ethnic nationality groups in the Niger Delta region and sister coastal states, Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio will mobilise strong resistance to the Water Resources Bill and hopes that other patriotic Nigerians who desire the unity and cohesion of the country will lend their voices as well, as injury to one is injury to all,” the communique stated.

Okon Bassey

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