Benue Youths reject Water Resources Bill, condemn media attacks against Ortom

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

The Benue Youth Forum has rejected the proposed National Water Resources Bill, saying that sponsored media attacks against the state governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, who was the first to speak against the bill was uncalled for.

The group made its position known yesterday through a press statement signed by its president, Comrade Terrence Kuanum.

Below is the press statement:



We read media reports credited to a group which calls itself Middle Belt Conscience Group (MBCG), challenging Governor Samuel Ortom for speaking against the obnoxious National Water Resources Bill.

Nigerians should not be surprised to see more faceless groups come up with such attacks and increased sponsored smear campaigns against Governor Ortom. This is a well coordinated plan by enemies of peace who are aided by political opponents within and outside the state to put the Governor in bad light, simply because he has refused to trade the interest of his people.

A group which bears the moniker of ‘Conscience’ yet embarks on such a despicable mission against national interest ought to be thoroughly disturbed by its own conscience.

For youths who claim to be from Middle Belt, the agenda by those bent on taking over the land in the region for cows should be a real cause of worry. The dogged and selfless stand of Governor Ortom and a few other patriots ought to be celebrated. Any youth group which sacrifices the interest of the region on the altar of politics and peanuts is worse than killer herdsmen.

Ruga, cattle colonies, grazing reserves and now Water Resources Bill are fingers of the same evil hand that wants to deny the people of Middle Belt, particularly those within the Benue Valley of their ancestral lands and turn same for the creation of a Cow Republic.

It is on record that Governor Ortom raised a patriotic objection to the re-introduction of the National Water Resources Bill to the 9th National Assembly on two grounds that it has contravened the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and it has also subverted provisions of the Land Use Act.

Expectedly, the said group MBCG, which was not heard of until Tuesday, 1st September, 2020, ostensibly assembled to advance the evil agenda of enemies of this country who are brains behind the Water Resources bill, failed to address any of the issues raised by Governor Ortom.

In their poorly scripted statement, the group could not counter the Governor on just one of the issues he raised as contained in the water bill.

The mercenary desperate youth group instead chose to descend to the shameful abyss of personal attacks on the Governor to the extent of linking his lineage to Fulani.

Their claim that Governor Ortom has chased Fulani herdsmen away from Benue to promote his own cattle business is one of the most senseless absurdities in recent times. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The press outing by the group was intended to divert attention from the issue at stake. The National Water Resources Bill is a well orchestrated plot to turn Nigerians to slaves in their own country.

We are convinced that the Federal Government is putting the unity of Nigeria in jeopardy if it continues to push this Ruga settlements project either expressly or implicitly. Nigerians have vowed never to surrender their lands for Ruga in whatever veil it is introduced. We advise that the Buhari administration should allow the people to have their way.

We call on the National Assembly to reject the controversial Water Resources Bill and save the name of the hallowed red and green chambers from descent into disrepute.

Indications are already rife that passage of the obnoxious bill will be greeted by spontaneous negative reactions from across the country.

We expect the National Assembly to throw out the Water Resources bill when it resumes sitting, in the interest of majority of Nigerians.

We expect Senators and House of Representatives members who have good conscience to stage a walk-out from any sitting that favours passage of the Water Resources bill. They owe generations of Nigerians including those yet unborn this singular duty.

Finally, we call on all Nigerians to courageously rise in resistance to the devilishly land grabbing bill intended to convert water and river banks for the use of Fulani cows!
The National Water Resources bill must not be passed!

Thank you.

Terrence Kuanum
Benue Youth Forum.