FG urged to dredge River Benue instead of taking over River banks

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

President, Lobi Development Association, Barrister John Shishi has called on the Federal Government to fulfil its promise of dredging River Benue to avert frequent flooding of riverine communities instead of trying to take over river banks through the back door.

He made the call yesterday while reacting to a social media post by one James Ornguga who had made reference to his 2017 post supporting Governor Samuel Ortom’s call for the dredging of River Benue.

According to the legal luminary, it is mischievous for Mr. Ornguga to have played up that 2017 post supporting the dredging of River Benue to suggest that he Shishi was opposed to Governor Ortom’s rejection of the Water Resources Bill.

Mr. Shishi said he is also in support of Governor Ortom’s stand against the Water Resources Bill because it seeks to give rivers, their resources and banks to the Federal Government all of which is not in the interest of those residing in the affected states.

According to him, Governor Ortom spoke the minds of Benue people by rejecting the bill and calling on the National Assembly to throw it out, saying he supports river dredging but is strongly opposed to the Water Resources Bill.

He explained that river dredging and land control were two different legislative items in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, stressing that while dredging of Rivers is the responsibility of the Federal Government, the administration and use of lands within the state is the responsibility of the state government.

He said as President of Lobi Development Association covering Guma and Makurdi Local Governments in Benue State where most of the land in question is situated, it should be known that his people have rejected the Federal Water Resources Bill sent to the National Assembly for the second time.