*Warns the federal government of severe consequences if it pushes the bill further:
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Wednesday, slammed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for his re-submission of the controversial National Water Resources Bill, 2022, for the third time in about five years. HURIWA said the action of the President violates his sacred constitutional oath of office not to allow his personal interest to endanger and undermine National interest just as the Rights group said the persistent presentation of the toxic bill is a signal that President Muhammadu Buhari intended to flood Nigeria with displaced Fulanis from the war torn Central African Republic.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the President has ulterior motives for insisting that the bill be passed into a law despite the obnoxious and problematic clauses in the bill which have attracted widespread rejection by all and sundry except the Fulani ethnicity.
The group further urged the 9th National Assembly to throw the bill into the trash can just as the 8th National Assembly did, adding that the bill if mistakenly passed by the rubberstamp Senate led by Buhari’s ally, Lawan Ahmad, will empower killer Fulani herdsmen to hijack wells and boreholes in Southern Nigeria just as they have been flagrantly hijacking the lands and farms of original dwellers to graze their cattle even as the Rights group said no amount of selective amassing of weapons of mass destruction by Fulani terrorists can make the native people to abandon their Gid given water resources in their communities for cows of private owners to be permanently kept in those communities by strangers from distant lands.
Recall that the vexatious national water resources bill was reintroduced in June by the chairman of the House Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli, a lawmaker from Katsina State, the hometown of the President.
The bill dates back to the eighth National Assembly when it was first sent to the parliament by the executive. It was later withdrawn following public outrage.
Amongst the contentious issues in the proposed legislation include those in clause 13 which provided thus, “In implementing the principles under subsection (2) of this section, the institutions established under this act shall promote integrated water resources management and the coordinated management of land and water resources, surface water and groundwater resources, river basins and adjacent marine and coastal environment and upstream and downstream interests.”
Also section 2(1) of the bill provides thus, “All surface water and groundwater, wherever it occurs, is a resource common to all people,’’ while Section 120 of the bill makes it compulsory for Nigerians to obtain a driller’s permit before sinking a borehole in their homes.”
Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said the President has sinister and ulterior motives for re-introducing the bill.
Onwubiko said, “The fixation of President Muhammadu Buhari and his kinsmen from Katsina State to make the national water resources bill a law is condemnable and self-serving.
“HURIWA rejects unequivocally this toxic and divisive bill from Northern Muslims plotting to seize control of water resources of Southern Nigeria for the purposes of donating same to foreign displaced criminal Fulani herders from Central African Republic, Chad, Niger Republic and other places.
“The bill, if it survives, will further empower Fulani cattle herders who have seen Nigeria as their father’s property because of the undue influence of Buhari who is also from the Fulani ethnic stock.
“Already, the killer Fulani herdsmen have done enough damage in Southern Nigeria. According to the President-General, Agbekoya Farmers Association, Kamorudeen Okikiola, criminal herdsmen have killed over 4,000 farmers in South-West alone in six years. The criminals have taken over farmlands and settlements not theirs in Southern Nigeria.
“The National Assembly should not empower criminality by passing this despicable bill. The President should also desist from pushing this heinous and divisive agenda to see the bill assented into law. NASS must not be used to empower illegality.
“HURIWA condemns this despicable bill and ask for this bill to be jettisoned in the trash bin of legislative houses to avoid stoking up deep ethnically motivated civil war soon.”
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)
July 27, 2022