The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has condemned what he calls “constant demonisation” of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, by the All Progressives Congress-led federal government, describing it as childish and uncalled for.
He said ridiculing the major opposition party by way of releasing lists of purported looters was “a distraction on the polity”, urging the government to concentrate on delivering on its promises to Nigerians.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Francis Ottah Agbo, Dickson stated this during a live media interview in his office in Yenagoa on Wednesday.
The governor also reiterated his belief in the existence of two dominant parties in the country.
He however regretted that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is grossly fragmented, a development he noted, has made the party disorganised.
“This country needs two strong political parties. A united not fragmented party in government and a cohesive and clear-headed opposition party. The constant demonization of the PDP by the APC, for me, is childish and uncalled for.
“I have the feeling that the APC, though in power, still behaves like a party in the opposition and on a campaign mode. I believe the APC has failed on its promise to Nigerians, they have failed to secure the country, the country is on a precipice. I think they should have done better than they are doing right now.”
Mr Dickson also lamented the spate of senseless killings in Nigeria and urged the APC-led federal government to focus on tackling insecurity and economic recession, instead of distracting Nigerians with the so called looters lists.
“The PDP made its mistakes but it achieved a lot for our democracy and our country. There is too much division in the country right now, and the federal government has to unify the country. They should look at the wanton killings in the country not only by Boko Haram but by the herdsmen and arrest the ugly situation” he added.
On the ongoing civil service reforms in the state, Mr Dickson vowed that his administration would not be dissuaded from bequeathing a highly professionalized, disciplined and motivated public service, through the ongoing reforms.
The governor also noted that, the exercise was not aimed at witch-hunting any worker, but to rid the service of all forms of irregularities, sharp practices with the view to repositioning the service to stand the test of time.
He said: ‘‘The mind-set that you can keep your name on the pay roll without coming to work is negative and we have to draw the red line now, because we want to leave behind a reformed, repositioned, motivated and efficient work force that can stand the test of time…’’
Commending the various labour leaders in the state for being part of the process of sanitizing the public service at the state and local government levels, as well as all the educational institutions, the Governor assured that, at the end of the exercise, it would promote efficiency and increase productivity.
The governor, who cited the case of 1,090 staff with teaching qualification redundant at the local government councils, stressed that, they would be redeployed to schools after going through refresher courses.
He directed the chairman of the Civil Service Commission to formulate an employment policy that, would ensure the employment of fresh graduates into the vacancies that would be created arising from the reforms.
Governor Dickson also directed the committee handling the verification of the state workers to release the salaries of identified genuine workers, who were affected by the suspension order.