The Ijaw Nation on Monday rejected the re-introduction of the Water Resources Bill in its present form, without it being open to public hearing, wide consultation and the fundamental concerns of ownership control.
This was the resolution of a body known as the Ijaw Nation Development Group (INDG) in collaboration with other Ijaw organisations at a virtual meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
The Ijaw Nation said it was open and willing to engage, consult and negotiate a Water Resources Bill that protects her strategic interests, for the greater good of all Nigerians.
The group in a communique issued at the end of the virtual meeting by Denzil Amagbe Kentebe (INDG), comrade Joseph Eva (IMG), Elaye Otrofanowei (IPA) Ebiere Fumudor (ELA), Efiye Bribena (IEF), Rosemary Oduone (IWC), Iniruo Will (EMBASARA Foundation) and Dennis Banigo (Convener INDG) called on the Nigerian dtate and the presidency, to emulate the practice of true federalism, as exemplified in India, Australia, Germany, Canada and the USA.
The communique said in part: “We resolve to work with other Niger Deltans and Nigerian nationalities, to ensure that we protect our nationalities and restore federalism from unitary intrusion and control, by hegemony and vested business and political interests.
“We share the concerns of many Nigerian ethnic nationalities who believe that the bill is part of a grand plot to take over their land for Ruga settlements. We stand for justice, equity, and fairness, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Africa Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights.
“We express our solidarity with the people of good conscience from other ethnic nationalities that believe in true federalism. We urge them to stand firm in a joint effort to stop enemies of the Nigerian state and its indigenous peoples, by unanimously consigning this bill and its contents, to the dustbin of history where it rightly belongs.”