The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural association Afenifere, branch of Ondo State, has called on the National Assembly to reject the National Water Resources Law, which was promulgated on June 29th.
The bill has been put to the first reading by House Committee on Water Resources Chair Sada Soli.
The bill, introduced and rejected by the legislature after public outcry during the 8th Assembly, was reintroduced in the current 9th National Assembly in 2020 but met with negative reactions from Nigerians, forcing the National Assembly to withdraw it.
Afenifere said in a statement by Remi Olayiwola, the public relations secretary, at the end of his caucus on Friday in Akure that the bill’s reinstatement was an insult to Nigerians from all geopolitical divides.
The association called on all of the state’s traditional rulers and political leaders to act relentlessly against the law.
“For the umpteenth time, a bill called the National Water Resources Bill has been brought before the House of Representatives to incorporate all interstate rivers and hydrological areas in all parts of the country.
“Here is a bill that has failed the test of time on two occasions in the 8th and 9th assemblies.
“Why should there be the desperation of bringing the same bill back in the house? It’s just another unholy way of enslaving the people of this land,” Afenifere explained.
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With regard to the effects of the Water Resources Act on people, the association pointed out that states of the federation run the risk of losing their identity and rights vis-à-vis the federal government.
While the majority of the population calls for more decentralization of government, according to the association, the bill seeks more responsibility for the federal government.
Afenifere noted that the National Water Resources Bill would have negative consequences and was “an insidious move cleverly foisted on the nation that well-meaning Nigerians must oppose.”
Had the federal government begun a reorganization of the land, as Afenifere’s leadership has called for over the years, the reintroduction of the Water Act would not have been necessary. (NAN)
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