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Published On: Thu, Sep 1st, 2022

Water Resources Bill: Why N’Delta Creek Men Must Be Proactive, Not Reactive

MALCOLM NEW

By  Chief (Barr) Malcolm Omirhobo

LAGOS  SEPTEMBER 1ST (URHOBOTODAY)-I am making this clarion call to all Niger Delta creek men particularly  Government Ekpemupolo, a.k. a  Tompolo.,  Ateke Tom  and Asari Dokubo to speak out now  on the satanic and banditry water resources bill before it is too late .

I am using this medium to put my brothers in the creek on notice of the water resources bill which is currently  on the floor of the House of Representatives and has passed first reading . 

For those of  our brothers in the creeks who do not know what the  obnoxious and vexatious  water resources bill is all about , I will like to take the pains to explain it to them . But before I do so  let me quickly  point out the importance of water whether on the surface or underneath the earth . Water is an indispensable and   essential need of man.  By the day water it is  becoming scarce . It has been  predicted that in the near future  most countries of Africa and West Asia will face severe water scarcity due to climate change and human factors.

Apart from  drinking  water , using it for domestic purposes , swimming and fishing in it,   water  can be used to produce hydropower by harnessing its energy. When   compared to other resources that are used to produce energy and power, water is considered renewable as well as having the least solid waste during energy production.

The water resources  bill  if passed into law  gives  the federal  government of Nigeria  control  over the water and land of the people of Niger  Delta .  If this bill goes through our people will  have to pay the FGN for digging a well in their  backyard or drilling a bore hole, fish  or swim in your water  , enjoy  recreation ,  hold festivals or worship egbesu and other  gods in their  water as they   must have to seek licence from Abuja . If this bill goes through the FGN will seize the  oxbow lakes, river meander and prominent levees. Large freshwater swamps and mangroves of the people of Niger Delta   as it seized  their  oil and gas.

I am calling on all creek men  to engage the FGN, intelligently and constructively on  this matter.  The  creek men must  come out  openly and unequivocally  to  reject the water resources bill before it is too late . The Niger Delta creek men must not   make the mistake  they did with  Petroleum Industrial Act 2021 by keeping silent  until the bill became law .

All creek men must approach this burning issue with all sense of urgency and responsibility . They must be  proactive and not  reactive.

All creek men of the Niger Delta   must not allow the FGN play on their intelligence like it did in the case of their oil and gas  . They must avoid being blackmailed  at the peril of their lives and for  peanuts used  against their own people guiding their own water while the FGN explore and tap their water resources .

All creek men of the Niger Delta must come back to their senses and not be distracted by  the N4bn peanut  monthly pipeline surveillance contract awarded  to Tompolo, by the Nigerian National Petroleum Limited, which  is now  tearing them apart. The  said contract is a smoke screen used by the FGN to becloud them so that they will be busy fighting each other while the  water resources bill  is passed into law .

.To all Niger Delta creek men , I say unite and fight against the Northern Oligarchy who have stolen your oil and gas and now wants to steal your land and water.  The    water resources bill is worst than Ruga and thus must be resisted  to avoid the FGN  settling foreign Fulani  herders from neigbouring   African countries on your land .

All true creek men must ask the FGN to first pass a law on how the gold and over fifty other solid mineral  resources in the Northern part of the country  will be tapped for the benefit of all Nigeria before passing into  water resources bill into law .

All creek men must know that the water resources bill is an attack on the existence of their people , their inheritance and prosperity .and therefore must fight against it .

It is  imperative for all creek men of the Niger Delta to  know that their  kits  and kins are banking on them    and therefore  must not let them down . The creek men must show this time that it is not all about themselves but  their people  and that they care .

In  the light of the forgoing , I am  imploring all Niger Deta creek men  to speak up for themselves , their children and unborn generation who will be  the  judge .

A stitch in time saves nine .

 

Chief (Barr.) Malcolm Omirhobo, a Human Right lawyer based in Lagos

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