Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Government has described the proposed National Water Resources Bill 2020 as another draconian land use decree in disguise, saying it would join other progressive forces to resist it.
This was one of the decisions reached by the State Executive Council at its weekly meeting presided over by the deputy governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, in Government House, Yenagoa.
A press release by the spokesperson for the Deputy Governor, Mr. Doubara Atasi, recalled that the National Water Resources Bill, which had passed its second reading on the floor of the Senate, has attracted wide condemnation across the country due to its controversial provisions viewed as attempts to seize control of the country’s waterways.
Commissioners for Information and Orientation, Mr Ayibaina Duba, and Justice and Attorney General of the State, Mr. Biriyai Dambo (SAN), said Council decided to oppose the bill because it negates the rights of Bayelsans, Niger Deltans and several other people in the country to enjoy their God-given resources.
They said relevant sections of the bill sought to deny indigenes, especially the Niger Delta people of their ancestral lands and freedom of fishing for business.
They expressed the state’s readiness to apply necessary legal frameworks to reject any legislation by the National Assembly that would emanate from the bill.