The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Bayelsa State chapter, has thrown its weight behind the groundswell of opposition to the reintroduced National Water Resources Bill in the National Assembly, Independent reports.
The group rejected the bill and described it as another obnoxious piece of legislation through which the Federal Government was plotting to deny the littoral states their God-given rights.
The CLO made its position known in a communique signed by Alagoa Morris and Timi Igoli, which was issued after its meeting in Yenagoa, the state capital.
It called on the Federal Government to jettison the plot and release ecological funds to the states as well as prevail on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to tackle coastal erosion ravaging helpless communities in the region.
The communique reads in part:
“The CLO joins other well-meaning Nigerians and groups to call for the rejection of the reintroduced of Water Bill in the National Assembly as this is another obnoxious legislation that would deny littoral states/regions of their God-given rights.
“Rather, the Federal Government should release the Ecological funds and prevail on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Niger Delta Affairs Ministry to take immediate steps to address the massive Coastal erosion affecting communities in the Niger Delta, especially Bayelsa and Delta States; including the reactivation of NDDC abandoned shoreline protection projects in Bayelsa State.”
The rights group also berated the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) for allegedly extorting the residents of Bayelsa with an estimated electricity billing system amidst worsening power supply in the state.
CLO warned that it would commence the process of collecting signatures of electricity consumers with a view to dragging the PHED to court, if the ugly situation persisted.
“It is no longer a secret that Bayelsans, especially residents of Yenagoa and environs are being fleeced by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), paying estimated bills for darkness.
CLO frowns at the poor power situation and estimated billing of a larger percentage of residents and calls on the Government of Bayelsa State to impress it upon the PHEDC to provide meters for residents; hence the CLO would embark on a collection of signatures of those who are paying bills to institute a court action, if the ugly situation continues.
“The CLO is also charging the state government to consider alternative sources of power supply like the gas turbine as of old and partnerships, such as that between the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Bayelsa state government,” the group said.
They demanded clarifications on the current position of those involved in the near successful theft of the Gbarain gas turbines and called for their immediate prosecution. (Source: Mangrovepen)
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