Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Kinsmen of former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday, turned out in their numbers defying a heavy downpour to drum support for the ongoing public sector reforms embarked upon by Governor Seriake Dickson.
Stakeholders, who took turn to endorse the reforms at a Town Hall Meeting, in Ogbia, were political appointees, lawmakers, women groups, students and youth leaders as well as traditional rulers including the Obanobahn of Ogbia Kingdom, His Eminence King Charles Owaba.
The people said they were happy with the reforms but called on the state government to show more seriousness in implementing the process by prosecuting those found culpable.
In his remarks, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who is an Ogbia indigene, expressed delight with the impressive turn out and show of solidarity with the Restoration Government
Iworiso-Markson said Governor Dickson’s love for the Ogbia people was exemplified in the unparalleled number of political appointments and projects in the area.
He urged the people to sustain their support for the public sector reforms as the process would free up space for more employment and development opportunities.
Fielding questions, the information commissioner reassured applicants who are interested in the 1000 jobs in the public service of fairness and transparency, stressing that no politician would be given any employment slot.
While urging the applicants to prepare themselves for both written and oral interviews to enable government recruit competent hands, he encouraged youths to explore opportunities in the private sector.
Earlier in her address, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ogbia Local Government Council, Mrs Naomi Ogoli noted that the reforms had significantly reduced the Council’s total wage bill from N210 million to N134 million.
Mrs Ogoli, who put the current local government staff strength of the Council at 736 said she inherited 1049 while the previous 1511 primary school staff has been reduced to 1199.
While calling for more support, the Chairman insisted that those who are against the reforms, do so either out of ignorance or mischief.
In his remarks, the member representing Ogbia Constituency 1 and Deputy Majority Leader at the State House of Assembly, Hon. Mitema Obordor, lauded the reforms but cautioned those saddled with the responsibility to play by the public service rules.
In their separate remarks, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Fred Obuah and his Power counterpart, Chief Partner Jim-Ogbolo commended Governor Dickson for taking Ogbia along in his administration’s development agenda, stressing that the area has not had it so good since the creation of the state.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Obanobahn of Ogbia Kingdom, King Charles Owaba urged public servants to be above board in the performance of their duties to avoid embarrassment and called for the punishment of those found wanting.
Other stakeholders who endorsed the reforms include the member representing Ogbia Federal Constituency, Hon. Sodaguo Festus,-Omoni, Chairman, Bayelsa State Environmental Sanitation Board, Chief Robert Enogha, Member, Bayelsa Local Government Service Commission, Chief George Okirinya, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Sector Reforms, Chief Sunday Omekwe.