AUSTIN OYIBODE, EDITOR
President of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Barrister Pereotubo Oweilaemi, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly should tread with caution as introduction of the controversial water resources bill into the national assembly will cause civil war in Nigeria.
Emeraldng.com reports that the controversial bill was stood down by the 8th Senate which was led by former Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki but facts available indicates that plans are afoot to re-introduce the bill to the 9th assembly under the leadership of Ahmed Lawan and Ovie Omo-Agege whom many Nigerians adjudged to be stooges of President Buhari.
In a statement personally signed by Oweilaemi and made available to Emeraldng.com, IYC said: “The controversial water resources bill which was stood down at the National Assembly by the 8th Senate we heard is rearing its ugly face in the 9th Senate. We reliably gathered that the executive arm is doing everything possible to send the bill back to the National Assembly.”
IYC whose members are 90 percent in the riverine areas of the Niger Delta said the federal government is playing with the intelligence of the Nigeria people, adding that Southern Nigeria people will do everything within their power to resist the passage of the bill which it describes is aimed at colonizing the people of the Niger Delta region.
Oweilaemi said: “This should not be another petroleum laws that have denied the Niger Delta people from controlling the petroleum resources in our land. Through legislative rascality with military fiat, the federal government of Nigeria enacted inimical and obnoxious laws to economically colonise Niger Delta people. Today, we are suffering from this neocolonialism.”
According to him: “We are getting feelers that the government of Nigeria is surreptitiously re-introducing the botched cattle colony or RUGA settlement. This is a slap on our collective resolve to live in a united Nigeria.
“We think that the federal government is putting the unity of Nigeria in jeopardy if it continues to push for this RUGA settlement either expressly or impliedly. We will not allow any law to take away our riparian rights over our rivers. Such will be resisted with all vigour.
“We are calling on the National Assembly to reject this controversial bill once again. They hold the ace to the survival of this country. The passage of this bill will put Nigeria in turmoil.”
The IYC president called on all lawmakers from the entire Southern Nigeria, especially those from the South South and South East to vehemently employ all means to stand against the bill and block its passage so as not to truncate the fragile peace being enjoyed in the Niger Delta region.
He said lawmakers from the South, Ovie-Omo Agege, Peter Nwaoboshi, Femi Gbajabiamila, Ndudi Elumelu, those from Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Edo, and the South East and South West “should know they are primarily representing their constituents at the two chambers. Our position herein is the collective views of the people they represent.”