A group, the African Indigenous Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development, has called on Nigerians to stand up and reject the water resource bill being proposed by the federal government.
The group said the bill was a violation of the common good of a people and the use of their land and water resources.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of an emergency meeting of AIFES in Port Harcourt and signed by the Convener, Legborsi Pyagbara, on behalf of the participants.
Pyagbara, who is the immediate past President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People condemns the attempt by the apex government to force the bill on Nigerians.
The communique reads, “AIFES condemns the attempt by the Federal Government to force the water resources bill on Nigerians and call on well-meaning citizens of the country to oppose it.
“This bill, which was first introduced in 2020, gives the Federal Government direct control over surface and ground waters, and further mandates individuals to obtain a license before they can access water, a natural resource received freely from God to meet the needs of humankind.
“We indeed condemn the attempt to centralize the management and use of our water resources by the Federal Government if this bill is passed into law.
“AIFES joins well-meaning Nigerians to call on the federal government to retract this bill and not pass it into law. This bill violates our principle of the common good and our ancestral ownership and use of our land and water resources.”
On the lingering oil theft in the Niger Delta region, Pyagbara said the recent revelations of colossal stealing in the Niger Delta for several years in an area garrisoned by all manner of security agencies was worrisome.
He stated that the Niger Delta remains the most militarized area of Nigeria, yet such huge pilfering of our natural resources has been going on for years unchallenged and unnoticed.
“This discovery and revelations confirm our position several times that the large-scale oil theft in the Niger Delta was a coordinated pillage of our resources by those at the top levels of government including its security apparatuses.
“We call on all those with the responsibility to protect this national patrimony to immediately resign and President Muhammadu Buhari take immediate steps to ensure that all those involved are brought to book.”