THE Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC), a socio-political group in the South-South geopolitical zone, has rejected the National Water Resources Bill proposed by the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.
The group made its position on controversial bill known on Monday in a statement jointly signed by Mamamu Youkore and Shadrach Ebikeme, president and secretary, respectively.
The group urged Niger Delta communities to “wake up and reject the proposed bill”, stating that it was “a well-calculated plan to further enslave Niger Deltans, particularly the Ijaws”.
“The Bill will tear our fragile unity. They have taken the crude oil, water and the lives of the people. It is obnoxious and wicked to the Niger Delta and the Ijaw nation. The Bill raised lots of suspicion.
“To us in Niger Delta, particularly the Ijaws, water is life. The Nigerian state have taken too much from us already, we will resist this move,” the statement said.
While noting that there are already too many unfriendly laws militating against the progress of the Ijaw nation and Niger Delta, the group maintained that adding the bill to the list would worsen the situation.
Noting that the bill will further divide the country, the group urged the National Assembly to promote only bills that would propagate national unity.
According to the group “despite the growing desperation by the federal government for the passage of the bill and the series of disinformation handed members of the National Assembly, the National Water Resources Bill has lots of ambiguity, confusion and treasonable acts”.
The controversial bill seeks to empower the Federal Government to control water resources in all parts of the country, such as rivers, streams, lakes and underground water.
The bill, introduced in the 8th National Assembly, caused outrage then as some Nigerians interpreted the proposed law as a power grab by the Federal Government.
Prominent Nigerians who spoke against it include Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, Femi Falana (SAN) and Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.
The bill was again introduced as an Executive Bill in 2020.