The pan-Yoruba Socio-cultural association, Afenifere, Ondo State chapter, has urged the National Assembly to reject the National Water Resources Bill, which was represented on June 29.
The bill was presented for first reading by the Chairman of the House Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli.
The bill, which was introduced and rejected by the lawmakers during the 8th Assembly following public outcry, was reintroduced in the current 9th National Assembly in 2020 but faced adverse reaction from Nigerians, forcing the National Assembly to step down.
Afenifere, in a statement issued at the end of its Caucus meeting on Friday in Akure by Mr. Remi Olayiwola, the Publicity Secretary, said the reintroduction of the bill was an insult to Nigerians from all geopolitical divides.
The association urged all the traditional rulers and political leaders from the state to work relentlessly against the bill.
“For the umpteenth time, a bill tagged the National Water Resources Bill, seeking to take over all inter-state rivers, and hydrological territory in all parts of the country has been tabled before the House of Representatives.
“Here is a Bill that had on two occasions in the 8th and 9th Assemblies failed to stand the test of time.
“Why should there be the desperation to bring the same Bill back to the House? It is simply another unholy way to enslave the people of this country,” Afenifere stated.
On the implication of the Water Resources Bill on the people, the association noted that states of the federation stand the risk of losing their identities and rights to the Federal Government.
According to the association, while the majority of the people are requesting more decentralization of government, the bill is seeking more responsibilities for the Federal Government.
Afenifere noted that the National Water Resources Bill would have negative consequences and was a “cunny actions being cleverly foisted on the nation, which must be resisted by well-meaning Nigerians.”
It stated that if the Federal Government had embarked on a restructuring of the country as canvassed by the leadership of Afenifere over the years, the re-introduction of the Water bill would not have been necessary.