Call Bayelsa council chairmen to order

Gov. Seriake Dickson

Gov. Seriake Dickson

Sir: This is certainly not the best of times for employees of the local government councils in Bayelsa State, as the prolonged non-payment of salaries take a huge toll on them and their dependants. Across the eight councils in the state, workers are owed salaries ranging from five to 10 months, a development that has reduced them to the status of beggars.

Although it is obvious that the current salary crisis in the local government councils is not unconnected with the economic meltdown biting hard on all tiers of government, the local government chairmen in Bayelsa State have not helped matters with their disposition towards the welfare of the workers.

One seriously considers the protracted non-payment of the local government employees in Bayelsa State for upward of five months in bad taste, and an open indictment of the managers of the councils. Since the local government councils have not stopped drawing their statutory allocations from the Federation Account, the managers can’t be excused from the mess that has engulfed the councils.

Whereas the local government council chairmen can conveniently use two months’ federal allocations to offset their wage bills for a month, they have decided to play “god” over the councils, using one flimsy excuse or another to justify the suffering of the workers.

It is high time the Bayelsa State Government took drastic steps to call the delinquent council chairmen to order and restore some sanity to local government administration. One finds it hard to believe that it was this same set of council chairmen that were indicted last year by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly for non-payment of staff salaries running into two or three months. It is really appalling that they were not given any formal sanction for their unbecoming conduct in public office at the end of the House’s public hearing. However, rather than turn a new leaf and do the needful as public stewards, the local government chairmen in Bayelsa State have devised more strategies to make themselves public enemies.

• Dogo Nasara,
Onopa, Yenagoa.



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