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Water Resources bill, Ruga in disguise, must be dropped –Afenifere




Apex Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere asked the National Assembly to drop the Water Resources Bill currently before it, describing it as Ruga in disguise.

This is just as the organisation kicked against the planned amendment of the 1999 constitution by the senate and instead called the adoption of the reports of the 2014 national conference and the restructuring of the country’s political structure as the basis for “a meaningful new constitutional order” for Nigeria.

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The organisation made the calls in a communiqué issued on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, immediately after an online meeting of its national caucus presided over by its leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti.

Afenifere also called on Nigerians to protest against the recent hike in the pump price of fuel.

It emphasised the Water Resources Bill, which seeks to cede the country’s water bodies and the adjoining lands to the Federal Government, describing it as a dangerous bill seeking to “convert waterways to RUGA facilities for the Federal Government.”

Afenifere argued that the recommendations of the 2014 confab should be an alternative to constitution review which, it said, “has become a ritual every four years without tangible progress.”

“The meeting also discussed the Water Resources Bill rejected by the 8th National Assembly which has been revived surreptitiously by the House of Representatives and concluded that a dangerous agenda is being pursued by the executive in wanting to subvert the Land Use Act in the constitution that vests lands in the state governors,” the communique reads.

“The bill is so dangerous as it seeks to convert waterways to RUGA facilities for the Federal Government. The bill seeks to give 18km after river banks to the Federal Government when in a state like Lagos you hardly can go beyond a kilometre of any river before meeting residential buildings. We ask that the bill be dropped immediately except there is an agenda to divide the country being pursued frenetically.

“The meeting considered the recent increases in the prices of petroleum products and electricity as the most insensitive policies against a people being ravaged by a pandemic without adequate support from their government. To ask Nigerians to pay more for these facilities is wicked and inhumane. We call on the people to use all constitutional and peaceful means to resist and reject the hikes.”

The organisation also said the suggestion that the southern-western states joint security outfit, Amotekun, should operate under the Nigeria Police Force was not acceptable.

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