By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace, MBMJP, has urged the Federal Government to desist from foisting the National Water Resources Bill on Nigerians after it had been rejected by the people.
Convener of MBMJP, Comrade Joe Bukka on Wednesday was reacting to a recent statement by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed wherein he insisted that the federal government meant well and would continue to push for the law, cautioned that it would be counterproductive to impose the law on Nigerians.
According to Comrade Bukka, “the Minister of Information allegedly said the critics of the bill were anti-people. He also alleged that people were politicizing the bill and misleading Nigerians.
“But the question that is begging for answers concerning the bill at the moment is that why is the federal government insisting on having a bill passed after it had been thrown away by the same National Assembly?
“He claimed that there was nothing new in the bill, but that it was an amalgamation of four Water Resources laws that had been in existence for long and that they were being repackaged and re-enacted with some modifications.
“And Nigerians are saying we do not want the amalgamation and modification of the extant laws which they want to repackage into the National Water Resources Bill. Why is it very difficult for the federal government to feel and understand the pulse of the people on this matter?
“Why will Nigerians reject a law and you want to go ahead to impose it on them? Are we no more in a democracy? If for nothing, the government should be guided by the definition of democracy that was propounded by even one of the Governors in the Middle Belt who said ‘democracy is doing what the people want.’
“That is basically what democracy is and the government should respect and apply that principle in the interest of the generality of the people,” Bukka added.