By Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) led by Pereotubo Oweilaemi has vowed to resist with the last drop of their blood the President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s Water Resources Management Bill recently sent to the National Assembly for passage.
Addressing members of the Warri Correspondentsâ€™ Chapel of the Nigeria
Union of Journalists (NUJ) at the unionâ€™s secretariat in Warri, Delta State, over the weekend, the Oweilaemi-led IYC described the bill as another â€œdemocratic shenanigansâ€ associated with the Buhariâ€™s administration.
IYC attributed the said bill to another â€œneo-colonisationâ€ agenda by the federal government to annihilate and subjugate the destinies of the Niger Delta people thereby subjecting the people to eternal colony.
â€œWe reject the bill in its entirety as it will only end up causing disaffection between the Niger Delta people and the federal government,â€ IYC stated.
The IYC leader said: â€œWe have perused the spirits and letters of the said bill clause by clause. There is nothing in the proposed law that will benefit the Niger Delta people.
â€œThis is a clear departure from the sacred constitutional requirements of enacting laws which are for the public good, public morality and public safety.â€
Oweilaemi said a bill designed to divest the people of natural resources in their domains cannot bring peace and good governance to the people.
According to him, â€œIYC therefore is of the view that the National Assembly should as a matter of public good and for the sake of our corporate coexistence reject the Bill outright or in the alternative, remove the clauses that seek to control the surface and groundwater resources including river beds and banks.â€
The group stated that the management of the water resources should be left with the states, reiterating that if the federal government fails to heed to calls for the billâ€™s withdrawal, then it will be an open invitation to confrontations.
â€œWe on our own part will do everything humanly possible within the ambit of the law to resist the passage of the bill. This is our destinies, and we will collectively tackle the government to ensure that we control our destinies from the clutches of the foreign invaders.
Â â€œThere is no doubt that the passage of this inimical bill will pitch Niger Delta communities against their visitors. We do not want a repeat of history in the region,â€ he added.