Water Resources Bill: Once Bitten Twice Shy, Niger Deltans Wake Up


By  Chief (Barr) Malcolm Omirhobo

LAGOS AUGUST 28TH (NEWSRANGERS)-When I say Niger Deltans , I mean Nigerians indigenous to the Niger Delta region of Nigeria comprises nine states namely : Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers. The Niger Delta is one of the World’s most important wetland and coastal marine ecosystems in the world . The Niger delta is a made up of oxbow lakes, river meander and prominent levees. Large freshwater swamps and mangroves.

To the average Niger Deltan, the abundance of water around him means nothing . He does not know what the scarcity of water means and that it has been predicted that by 2025, most countries of Africa and West Asia will face severe water scarcity due to increasing population and demands on water. He does not know that apart from drinking the water , swimming it and fishing in it, water can be used to produce hydropower by harnessing its energy. He does not know that 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.

While the people of the Niger Delta are ignorant of their inheritance and wealth and are busy slumbering.

While their governors and representatives both at National Assembly and State House of Assembly, Ministers , Commissioners and local government chairmen and counsellors and politicians are busy amassing wealth for themselves, trading and mortgaging their future and those of their unborn generations for a few bags of Ghana most go, relevance and freedom from prosecution for corruption . While their intellectuals , elites , traditional leaders , professionals and academicians of are struggling for the crump’s from the table of the state capital and federal capital Territory Abuja and minding their own business keeping quiet , a group of law makers from the Northern parts of Nigeria led by Hon. Sada Soli a member of APC from Katsina state president Buhari’s home state have repackaged and rebranded the satanic and BANDITRY water resources bill which was rejected by the 8th Assembly and smuggled it through the back door to the floor of the 9th Assembly for consideration.

Lest I forget it is important I let you know that the obnoxious and vexatious water resources bill in whatever name it is now being called is aimed at control your water and land by the federal government . If this bill goes through you have to pay the federal government for digging a well in your backyard or drilling a bore hole ., fish in your waters or swim , enjoy recreation , hold festivals or worship your gods in your waters as you must have to seek licence from Abuja . If this bill goes through the federal government will seize your water as it seized your oil and gas.

Great DELTANS wake up from your slumbers look at what happened to your oil and gas and how it turned out . Your crude is being sold without metre , your land and waters polluted . You can’t fish and you can’t farm . Your Gods given oil and gas is being sold at discount to your detriment .

Your oil and gas is been shared amongst all the component parts of Nigeria who have kept their own natural resources untapped for the benefit of all Nigerians .

While all other component parts of Nigeria enjoy your oil and gas without any liabilities you alone bare all the liabilities like the degradation of your environment and pending ecological disasters to come.

While other component parts of Nigeria prosper because of your oil and gas , you are left in squalor and abject poverty .

While the Northern Oligarchy and some other Nigerians have all the oil wells in your backyard non of you have a single drop of oil because the federal government of Nigeria is in control of your inheritance.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was established without any benefit to you. The corporation is being headed by people that are not of Niger Delta extractions , all the directors and top positions are being headed by other Nigerians other than your own . Your children went to the university to study petroleum engineering, petrol chemical engineering, accountancy etc and they are not employed to work in NNPC or other big oil and gas companies and they are now roaming about jobless in despondence .

With your hue and cry , Chief Olusegun Obasanjo one of the architect of Nigeria’s disaster gave you the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to develop your region but then the NDDC is not in your control.it is in the hands of the Federal government of Nigeria .

Last last , you sat back and allowed the federal government to pass the BANDITRY petroleum Industry Act just last year which now puts your inheritance into a limited liability company .

So in all these where is your gain ? This is the reason why you must not allow what happened to your oil and gas happen to your water . Don’t just sit down until the bill is passed into law like you did in the case of the Petroleum Industry Act. Act now . Hold your leaders accountable . Once bitten twice shy .


Chief (Barr) Malcolm Omirhobo, a human right lawyer writes from Lagos

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Posted by on Aug 28 2022. Filed under Features, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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