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Stakeholders Back Bayelsa Reforms, Demand Transparency in Civil Service  Recruitment

Photo: Governor Dickson, Bayelsa state

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – 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.

 

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