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Gov Diri demands withdrawal of Water Resources Bill

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Gov. Diri tasks FCC on fair representation at the federal level
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Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has questioned the necessity of the National Water Resources Bill at the National Assembly, protesting the bill is against maritime states in the country. Governor Diri emphasized that Nigeria is operating a federal system of government and not a unitary government. He demanded the withdrawal of the bill by the sponsors.

Diri, hosting the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dame Didi Walson-Jack, and her team, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Yenagoa, declared: “this bill is tantamount to stifling us. The federal government is on our neck and we cannot breathe anymore.”

The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Daniel Alabrah, in a statement indicated that the governor considered it unfair and unjust to introduce the water resources bill when oil-rich states were still agitating for a fair deal from their oil and gas resources.

Governor Diri was cited to have said: “The Water Resources Bill is not acceptable. The provisions of the bill, if it becomes law, would have a more negative impact on us as we are a mainly maritime environment.

“Having taken away our oil and gas resources, the federal government is trying to introduce a water resources law at a time when we are still fighting for a fair deal. This bill is tantamount to stifling us. The federal government is on our neck and we cannot breathe anymore.

“We are running a federal government where you do not centralise resources or political power. It is where you run a unitary system of government that that kind of draconian bill can come. But in an ideal federal system, you allow the states to expropriate their resources and pay taxes to the federal government.

“They emasculate the states’ resources and then give peanuts to them. They still turn around to say the states are not performing. How can they perform when you take away all their resources?”

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