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Reject National Water Resources Bill, it’s another Ruga – Ortom to NASS

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has called on members of the National Assembly to rescind the National Water Resources Bill before the Assembly in the interest of the nation describing it as one other version of the rejected Ruga policy to seize land for pastoralists.

The Governor contended that the bill which aimed to carry all water sources (surface and underground) in addition to river banks under the control of the Federal Government via its agencies was anti-federalism and in addition contradicted the right of Nigerians to their God-given resources.

The Governor in an announcement on Saturday, by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, examined that Section 13 of the Bill, expresses 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.’

He depicted as curious, the reintroduction of the Bill, which was dismissed in 2018 by the eighth Assembly including “those pushing for the passage of the bill at all cost have a surreptitious motive which is not yet clear to other Nigerians.”

He stated that “the bill, in addition to its provisions which are at variance with the Land Use Act, is a disguised land-grabbing legislation designed to grant pastoralists unhindered access to river basins, adjacent marine and coastal environments across the country.

“The bill is another version of Ruga which objective is to create grazing areas in the 36 states of the federation for herders and their livestock.”

He applauded socio-cultural organizations such as Afenifere, Ohaneze and Middle Belt Forum for speaking in opposition to the reintroduction of the bill on the National Assembly and encouraged federal lawmakers to perform as true representatives of the people for the sake of posterity and to keep in mind that the future of the country lied in their hands.

Governor Ortom additionally suggested legislators within the two chambers of the National Assembly to toe the path of honour by refusing the bill because the 8th Assembly did.


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