Governor Seriake Dickson
By Segun James
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State Monday announced major reforms in the state’s Civil Service with the suspension of four top civil servants over their alleged involvement in acts of indiscipline, rumour mongering, recruitment fraud and illegal land allocation process.
Dickson, while speaking on Moday during an interactive session with civil servants, said though the reforms would recognise hard work and reposition the service along loyalty and discipline, the present administration, however, would not condole indolence, disloyalty, fraud and retrogression in the state civil service.
The governor warned civil servants against politicking, saying the service was meant to be apolitical at all times.
He warned those of them who had picked forms to contest the forthcoming local government election without resigning to do so as they would not be allowed to return to service if they failed in their bid.
Dickson, who announced that “discipline start now,” ordered the immediate suspension of a senior accountant in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Ransom Temeregha, over alleged acts of “careless talk” with immediate effect.
Also suspended is a surveyor with the state Capital City Development Authority (CCDA), Couple Imgibina, over alleged illegal allocation of lands in the Central Business District (CBD) area of Yenagoa for the building of illegal structures.
The governor also suspended the former secretary to the Environmental Sanitation Authority for “wrongful recruitment of persons,” persons from his community and relations in contravention of the civil service rules, and one Akpoebi Efidi for “damaging and dissemination of rumour” about the present administration.
Dickson made it clear that such acts were a violation of the Civil Service rule and would not be tolerated.
He also told the civil servants and political appointees that henceforth, politicisation of promotion in the service would no longer be accepted.
“I have decided to meet with you to reposition the service. We need to change to a new song. The reposition plan does not mean people will be sacked but we will go around and ensure that those not on their duty post are considered not genuine civil servants. The Civil servants I want to know must be at work,” he said.
Dickson noted that before his assumption of office civil servants in the state were considered members of the billionaires club, leading contractors and took active part in politics, both as member of the ruling party and opposition.
“I will not take that from any civil servant. You must abide by the rule. If you want to join politics, you must retire from service. The most sacred law of service is loyalty to constituted authority.
“A committee is working to identify those civil servants involved in opposition politics. Some civil servants are even buying forms to contest the coming Local Government elections in the state. There will no longer be room for that. When I was Attorney-General of the state, I resigned my appointment to contest, though I lost out of the Senate race but got the House of Representatives ticket,” he added.