A socio-cultural organisation in Akwa Ibom State, Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, has called on governors and National Assembly members from the Niger Delta region, irrespective of political party affiliations, to go against the Water Resources Bill being put forward for consideration at the National Assembly.
In a six-paragraph communiqué issued, yesterday, at the end of its Central Working Committee meeting, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the organisation, made up of Ibibio people, the largest ethnic group in the state and fourth in the country, stated that the bill was evil, repressive and a complete misplacement of priorities.
The group added that the bill is an attempt to deprive the people of the Niger Delta region and other coastal states of resources freely given to them by God and by such action, further impoverish them.
The communiqué was signed by the 11th International President of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, Akparawa James Edet, NPOM as chairman-in-council and Akparawa Bassey Bassey, the International Secretary General.
“Any bill which aims to confer ownership, control and management of surface and underground waters on the Federal Government, like what is obtainable with petroleum resources, is an affront on the sensibilities of our people, which must be rejected and fought with all peaceful and constitutional means available to ensure it does not see the light of the day.
“At a period where our students have been grounded at home for over six months due to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)’s strike; at time insecurity has attained monumental proportions with killings and abductions for ransom; at a time that the country’s currency, the naira, is on a free fall and at its lowest ebb ever in the history of our country; at a time enterprises are shutting down and foreign investors are leaving the country due to unbearable operational costs and poor economic policies,
“What should preoccupy policymakers should be how to channel all energy and resources towards tackling those issues and not to plunge the country into more avoidable crisis with such a highly contentious bill, which is suspected to have been put forward to serve sinister and sectional interests.”
The organisation promised not to only bark, but also bite by ensuring that they galvanised other ethnic nationalities to form a formidable resistance against the passage of the obnoxious bill.