The National Assembly has been advised to listen to the voice of reason and rest the Water Resources Bill.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) gave the lawmakers the advice in a statement on Monday, saying that the bill portends danger to national unity.
The water bill was sent as an executive bill by the President to the 8th National Assembly. Following the outrage that greeted it, the bill was not passed.
However, the bill has been returned to the federal lawmakers to consider and pass. On July 23, 2020, the House of Representatives referred it to a “committee of the whole,” for third reading and passage.
The development has continued to witness outcry with Professor Wole Soyinka, Governor Samuel Ortom, Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, among several others opposing the return of the bill.
In its response, the NLC, through its
president, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement in Abuja titled ‘Do not ambush Nigerians,’ warned against the return of the bill.
He said there were already enough challenges facing Nigeria that courting fresh and costly problem like the water bill would not do the country any good.
“Information in the public domain has it that the National Assembly leadership is working surreptitiously with vested interests outside the assembly anxious to pass the bill without due legislative process.
“Although the National Assembly is constitutionally vested with law-making, we warn against the National Assembly ambushing Nigerians.
“We equally warn against legislative abuse or betrayal of Nigerians as this is what it will amount to if the bill is passed or caused to be passed without public engagement and scrutiny. Already, the sentiments expressed against this bill are too grave to be brushed off.”
“Against the backdrop of the strong sentiments expressed against the bill from nearly all sections of the country, the NLC president strongly advised that the bill should not be resurrected.
“In the light of this, we state unambiguously that the National Assembly should listen to the voice of reason by resting this bill.
“As a pan-Nigerian organisation, we would continue to work assiduously for unity, development, justice and accountable leadership,” Wabba said.
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