(Saint Mienpamo Reports)
Newly sworn-in local government chairmen in Bayelsa state have been warned against turning the monthly allocation and other funds accruing to the Council to ‘pocket money’.
Stressing the need for the council chiefs to be financially discipline, the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson at the inauguration ceremony held inside the Banquet Hall of Government House, Yenagoa said the government would not tolerate any act of indiscipline.
“As we are (the state government), we are neither deducting nor authorizing any form of deductions from your council funds, we will also ensure that you the chairmen, particularly do not use council funds as your own personal pocket money.
The present administration in Bayelsa State will not allow council chairmen to treat the resources coming to the councils to service godfathers, godmothers and god Sisters.
The resources that are coming into this state as you have clearly seen at the state level are being deployed fully to the development of our state”.
The Governor added that his administration has put in place a machinery to monitor and give monthly reports on their activities to ensure that funds accruing to the third tier of government are utilized solely for development.
He also said government would hold regular interaction with the chairmen to ensure that development projects and security efforts were properly harmonized, stressing that henceforth, government will only set up counterpart funding with the local government councils for purposes of development.
In fulfillment of the 35 percent affirmative action, Governor Dickson disclosed that over 60 percent of women are holding elective positions at the local government level.
“Our party (PDP) has set the pace in women empowerment in this country beginning with Bayelsa. You have over 40 percent of women representation as far as councilors are concerned. And you have all seen that over 70 percent of the Vice Chairmen are also women.
“There is no better demonstration of the fact that our party is the most women-friendly party in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He also urged them to establish the local government security councils with first class traditional rulers as well as competent ex-service men among others as members to check “armed banditry, illegal crude oil refining” and other criminal activities.
Congratulating the new local government helmsmen , Hon Dickson urged the political class to join hands with government to bring development closer to the people at the grassroots, adding that this is not the time for politicking.
The Local Government Chairmen are Andy Obed for Brass, Tobiyei Billy (Ekeremor) Gbaranbiri Eselemo (Kolokuma/Opokuma) and Eminah Bioghoemi Benneth (Nembe).
Others are Mr. Enaye Richard Abah (Ogbia), Willy Oyadougha Jerry (Sagbama), Chief Remember Ogbe (Southern Ijaw) and Hon. Chubby Ben Walson (Yenagoa).