Resubmission of Water Resources Bill: Buhari has an ulterior motive, says Ecumenical Water Africa

The re-submission of the controversial Water Resources Bill by the Federal Government has been described as an evil scheme perpetrated to deprive Nigerians of their indigenous lands and resources and open them up to herders despite Nigerians’ opposing stance against the plan.

Ecumenical Water Africa, an initiative of the World Council of Churches made up of churches and church-related organizations that promote the preservation, responsible management and equitable distribution of water for all, on the basis of understanding that water is a gift from God, a common good and a basic human right, made this known over the weekend.

The Regional Coordinator, The Very Reverend O. Kolade Fadahunsi, speaking on behalf of the organization, said the water resources bill is a surreptitious plan and bringing it in through the back door as a bill executive will not remove the danger it originally posed. to peace in the country.

He said that “President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-submission of the controversial Water Resources Bill that almost tore Nigeria and the National Assembly apart a few years ago is suspicious. It suggests, without an iota of doubt, that this administration has an ulterior motive that is clearly not in the national interest.

“It is therefore in the interest of peace and national stability that the bill is withdrawn to avoid an unmitigated crisis across the country. The reintroduction of the bill is awful as it vindicates Nigerians’ suspicions that an evil scheme is being perpetrated. It beats logic, President Buhari’s insistence for the third time in about five years to make the proposal law.

“It is worthy that some members of the House of Representatives in the National Assembly are vigilant to spot the reintroduction of the bill and the danger it poses to the country. We therefore call on federal lawmakers not to sacrifice the country’s interest to the president’s ulterior motives. To remain silent on a matter as serious as this will nullify our confidence in their responsibility,” he added.

According to Ecumenical Water Africa, the previous bill sought to transfer control of water resources from the states to the federal government, which governors and other stakeholders rejected; the bill was opposed due to some of its provisions.

“A major cause for concern is that the Bill seeks to give full control of all waterways and their banks in Nigeria to the Federal Government” on the grounds that all Nigerians have basic rights of free movement. The fear is justified because President Buhari has signaled his support for grazing roads and nomadic herders’ rights without expressing a corresponding concern about the havoc it has wreaked on farmers and their weapons across the country.

“It is no exaggeration to conclude that if the bill passes, the natives will be evicted from their native lands, which amounts to handing over the peoples’ resources and water to the federal government to carry out their privatization program which will put the masses in abject water.poverty.Surprisingly, this is the third time that President Buhari has presented this suspicious bill to the National Assembly.And now this latest attempt;just ten months before the end of his mandate, is seen as an indirect attempt to change the provisions of the Land Use Act which vest state lands in governors.

“This is a blatant attack on federalism which Nigerians badly need besides being a heinous evil against the indigenous peoples of Nigeria, clearly the bill is part of a larger covert agenda, the The bill, if passed, will cut off the wings of state and local government authorities as well as individuals from using water in their backyards without an Abuja permit. across the country. The result will be wars over water that would be more devastating than conflicts over pasture,” he added.


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