Stakeholders of Yenagoa Local Government Area in Bayelsa State on Monday
threw their weight behind the Governor Seriake Dickson-led
administration’s public service reforms describing the ongoing
restructuring process as the only option out of the rot that had held down
the state over the years.
Rising from a town hall meeting on Monday at the Gabriel Okara Cultural
Center, Yenagoa, the people comprising traditional rulers, political
appointees, women, youth and student groups also lauded the governor for
directing the employment of 1,000 workers into the state public service.
They however urged the state government to put in place measures that
would ensure transparency and fairness in the recruitment process.
Speaking at the well attended event, the Ibenanaowei of Gbarain Kingdom,
King Funpere Akah, said all traditional rulers in the state were already
in support of the restructuring in view of the far-reaching benefits the
reforms hold for the state.
King Akah who doubles as the Chairman of Traditional Rulers in the Yenagoa
Area, urged the royal fathers to explain the essence of the reforms to
their people for their support.
He urged the monarchs to prevail on their subjects who had got to the age
of retirement to pull out of the civil service to pave the way for a new
generation of vibrant Bayelsa youths to take over from them.
The monarch also called on government to intensify efforts that would lead
to the establishment of companies for employment.
He advised the government to look inwards in the implementation of the
reforms, stressing that most of the fraudulent acts in the services are
perpetrated by top operatives in government.
In his remarks , Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Daniel
Iworiso-Markson, who convened the meeting assured Bayelsans of the
determination of the government to ensure adherence to impartiality and
fairness in the recruitment exercise.
He explained that government had already put machinery in place to ensure
that only qualified and competent applicants are employed into the service
in line with the present administration’s determination to promote
efficiency and productivity in the public service.
Highlighting the importance of the restructuring, Mr Iworiso-Markson
further reiterated the governor’s position that no genuine worker would be
adversely affected in the implementation of reforms.
He noted out that Bayelsa which was at a point seen as a pariah state, was
now being respected both within and outside the country owing to the
responsible and purposeful leadership style of the restoration government.
Describing development as a collective responsibility, the information
Commissioner maintained that though Bayelsa was yet to attain it’s
rightful position in the country, most of the Dickson Administration’s
policies and programmes were being replicated in some states.
Mr Markson who commended the Yenagoa people for their show of maturity and
orderliness all through the programme, asked traditional rulers and other
leaders to continue the sensitization campaign in their various
communities to achieve maximum victory over payroll fraud and other sharp
practices in the public service.
Also speaking, the Odukali of Epie, Chief Godwin Odumgba described the
ongoing reforms as long overdue, noting that the state public service
would not have found itself in its current poor state if previous
governments had not been passing the buck.
Chief Odumgba who commended Governor Dickson for mustering political will
and courage to implement the reform agenda, however advised government to
drive the process in such manner that would result in a win-win situation.
Speaking on behalf of women of the area, the Secretary, YELGA Aborigines
of Female Chiefs, Chief (Mrs) Ruth Okomi lamented the rate of unemployment
and its effects on the state and called on workers who are overdue for
retirement to bow out of service in the interest of the youths.
In their separate presentations, the Vice President, Bayelsa Unemployed
Graduates Forum, Mr Agada Jasper Jimmy and President of the National Union
of Yenagoa Local Government Students, Miss Ebinipre Ahoada, declared the
readiness of their respective groups to support the reforms all the way.