By Dayo Johnson & Dapo Akinrefon
A coalition of Southern and Middle Belt Youth Leaders Assembly, COSMBYLA, yesterday, flayed the reintroduction of the Water Resources Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying it is obnoxious and vexatious.
COSMBYLA is the umbrella body of youth groups in the South-East, South-South, South-West and Middle Belt regions.
In a statement by President of the group, Goodluck Ibem; Coordinator, Forum of Middle Belt Youth Presidents, Terrence Kuanum, Shittu Waheed and Coordinator, South West Youth Leaders Forum, SWYLF, and Tito Zokumor, President, South-South Youth Forum, SSYF, the youths said: “This is a well-calculated plot to acquire land for Fulani Jihadists to inhabit, which will serve as a base for them to launch attacks against the Southern part of the country.
“The reintroduction of the obnoxious Water Resources Bill is a confirmation that President Muhammadu Buhari sees Nigerians as fouls and people without brains, who he can manipulate, kill and impose his will whenever or anyhow he wishes.
“The continuous reintroduction of the obnoxious and vexatious bill confirms to Nigerians that it is a wicked bomb packaged by President Buhari to kill the remaining Nigerians that escaped the sword of the rampaging Fulani terrorists parading as herdsmen in the country.
“Nigerians are dying of hunger and starvation on daily basis as a result of the high cost of food, high cost of kerosene sold at N900 per litre and diesel for N1000 per litre and the only thing President Buhari will do is to reintroduce the obnoxious Water Resources Bill. Can the bill put food on the table of Nigerians? The answer is no.
“Rather the bill cannot only create a simple avenue for the Fulani Jihadists to kill more Nigerians in order to take their land.
“Nigerians are killed on daily basis like fouls by Fulani Jihadists parading as herdsmen and the President is calm without doing anything to stop the carnage.
“The only thing that the President is interested in, is only on how to annex the lands of indigenous Nigerians through the backdoor using the Water Resources Bill as a shield to annex land unlawfully for his Fulani Jihadists.
“From all indications, the said Water Resources Bill is a bill simply to promote Mr President’s Fulanization and Islamization agenda which he promised his kinsmen to actualize.
“We reject this anti-people bill with all energy and strength.
“We are in a democratic government and the President has no power to impose his will on Nigerians.”
It’s not in national interest —Gani Adams
In a similar vein, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, insisted that the re-presentation of the bill has exposed the Federal Government’s primordial interests over national interest.
Aare Adams, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi expressed disappointment at the way the Federal Government is dragging sensitive issue like the Inland Waterways Bill with the state government, adding that Buhari’s attempt to use the National Assembly as a tool to fulfill his personal agenda is against the principle of Federalism.
He said: “If the Federal Government actually succeeds in controlling the water- ways, then the states are left with nothing to survive.
“For instance, Osun Osogbo remains one of the tourism destinations and revenue generation resources for the Osun state. Many like that are spread all over the country. This cruel and selfish agenda must not fly because it is against the general principle of federalism.
“The Federal Government couldn’t manage over 300 agencies and parastatals belonging to it, yet it is trying to strangle the states from their natural resources and endowments. The intention of the Federal Government is to control all the waters and their surrounding banks in all parts of Nigeria.
“This is fraught with tension and suspicion because it would give the federal government the power to control the nation’s rivers (especially those that pass through more than one state).
“It is purely a direct assault on the principle of Federalism. The idea of centralizing all the resources, both human and natural resources in the hands of the Federal Government is killing and could lead to avoidable crisis between the federal and the state governments.”