Whose Interest is Gbajabiamila Serving on the Rejected, Reintroduced Water Resources Bill?
In their desperate bid to pass the widely rejected Water Resources Bill, some lawmakers in the House of Representatives recently reintroduced the obnoxious legislation, claiming that they received the blessing of Southern governors and Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State. Ortom and his colleagues from the South had vowed never to allow the bill see the light of the day. But the Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu and his allies at the National Assembly have embarked on relentless campaign to ensure that the bill is passed to secure river banks for foreign herdsmen and force Nigerians to pay taxes to the federal government like operators in the oil and gas industry, before they drill boreholes at their backyards.
Many Nigerians have described the bill as an evil plot by the federal government to take over the river banks and allow herdsmen from other parts of Africa to take over lands especially in the southern and middle belt part of the country.
When the bill was reintroduced, Hon. Mark Gbillah (PDP, Benue), reminded his colleagues that most Nigerians rejected the bill the last time.
But the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said that governors contributed in the drafting of the new bill.
“Apparently it is a new bill that all the governors of the federation both south and north participated in this bill and I want to take him (chief promoter of the vexatious bill, Hon. Sada Soli (APC/Katsina), by his word,” he said.
Gbajabiamila disclosed that Benue State Governor, Ortom, also supported the bill.
“Like I said your governor (Samuel Ortom) was specifically mentioned as one of people that bought into it,” the speaker added.
Also, responding, Soli said the minutes of the meeting with the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) had been attached to the bill.
But reacting to the development, Ortom described as “evil” the re-introduction of Water Resources Bill at the National Assembly. Speaking at the flag-off of the distribution of seedlings in Makurdi, the governor decried what he described as the agenda of the federal government to seize land from the 36 states of the federation.
If one may ask, why is the same bill being introduced and reintroduced on the floor of the green chamber by legislators from Katsina State, President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state. What is its importance to the development of the country?”
So, why did Gbajabiamila claim that the Benue State governor was in support of the bill? Why this desperation to pass this bill at all costs? Whose interest is he serving on the bill? Is the interest of minority or majority? How does he want history to remember him by the time the bill when signed into law, begins to tear the country apart?
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