The Bayelsa Government has declared its intention to oppose the passage of the proposed National Water Resources Bill 2020, describing it as draconian and controversial.
Mr Doubara Atasi, Media Aide to Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said in a statement in Yenagoa on Thursday that the decision was taken at the weekly meeting of the state Executive Council.
He said that the state government at the meeting, presided over by the Deputy Governor, viewed the bill as an attempt by the federal government to seize control of the nation’s waterways.
The deputy governor’s aide also said that the state government’s decision to oppose the bill is pegged on the fact that it negated the peoples’ rights to enjoy their God-given resources.
“The state government shall apply all necessary legal frameworks to reject any legislation by the National Assembly that may emanate from the bill.
“Section 62 of the Bill seeks to deny indigenous people, especially the Niger Delta people, of their ancestral lands and the freedom of fishing for business,” he said.
Atasi said the state government believes it is draconian for the people to obtain licenses before acquiring the rights to access resources deposited in their lands and waters.
“If they start licensing the waterways activities, you are encroaching on the freedom of the people and that is unacceptable.
“The state executive has resolved to reject this bill, it shall also urge its people in the national assembly to oppose its passage,” he said.