Executive Director, African Network for the Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor, has said the controversial Water Resources Bill had nothing to do with tribe or religion.
He alleged that the bill was the brainchild of the Nigerian elites that live on rent from crude oil money, but are now looking for an alternative cash cow since oil money was declining.
According to Ugolor, “it will be wrong for people to continue to give tribal and religious colouration to every attempt by the Nigerian elite to continue to look for ways to sustain their access to rent collection.
“Once you introduce tribal or religious or regional sentiments, you undermine the whole debate. What has happened with the water bill thing is not about the North or South or East or West.
“It is about elites that have poor backgrounds, that live on rent. Nigerian elites that live on oil wealth know that the amount of rent coming from oil is increasingly decreasing and there is a need to explore other options.
“And water provides another opportunity to sustain their rent collection. It is not just the North, it is the Nigerian elite.”
However, reacting to the Water Resources Bill, Executive Director, Centre for Democracy and Development of Bayelsa, CDDB, Dr. Konrad Welson, took another turn.
He said: “If you are running federalism, there are certain things that have to be collectively managed.
“One of them is a natural resource like water. Water is a natural resource that has to be managed properly in such a way that it is to the benefit of the entire country.”