BY VINCENT KALU
AS some states and interest groups kick against the passage of the Water Resources Bill in the National Assembly, former Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Usman Yusuf has said inland waterways are the property of the federal government and as such, there is no need for anybody, states, or groups to oppose the passage of the bill.
According to him, “in every country, every nation, River Mississippi that traverses throughout America is the property of the federal government, controlled by the government.
Look at what is happening between Ethiopia and Sudan and Egypt about the River Nile. You want to dam the Nile, and it is an issue among these three countries.
“How can you allow every state to control its waterways? This issue of this is my water and nobody should venture into it is sentimental nonsense, which I have heard from the Southern press; or they say it is a plot by a Fulani man in Aso Villa to do Ruga and give these waters to the Fulani. This is absolutely
nonsense, absolute bullshit.
“We are having these problems with bandits because government doesn’t have control of its forests. The forests are where all these bandits all over the country reside. Federal government and state government must have to have full control of their forests, that is why you have Forest Rangers and I have advocated for that. You have Forest Rangers in the United States, in East Africa , South Africa, in Asia, etc, but here we have a large chunk of our forests ungoverned, lawless and that is where they take people and keep them there. “The government must take care of its forests, airspace and inland
waterways; they are the properties of government and not for any people or states.
“So, I don’t see the big deal why people are talking about this. They say they want to channel River Niger to Sokoto to do Ruga, this is nonsense, and I hear people say it is plot towards Fulanisation of Nigeria. Fulani are killing our people in the North; I’m from Katsina state, our people are being killed.
In southern Kaduna they are saying Fulani are killing Christians. People need to be more educated and stop all this sentimental nonsense.”