Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson yesterday appointed 32 Chairmen of Rural Development Authorities (RDAs) and scores of RDA legislative houses members in addition to 60 new Special Advisers he appointed on Friday.
The new appointments therefore brought to over 100 personal aides the governor had approved within seven days in a move to consolidate the position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the November 16 governorship election.
Dickson announced the new appointments yesterday in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, saying it was part of deliberate efforts to enable the ‘Restoration Government’ to finish strong in its commitment to deliver effective governance to the good people of Bayelsa State.
Dickson had directed the caucuses to nominate women for appointment as special advisers next week, in areas where they have not been considered for appointment.
Announcing the names of the new aides covering the eight local councils, Dickson noted that the government and the party deplored the ‘ungrateful and unpatriotic’ attitude of a few appointees who had been sustained by the PDP but decided to leave and join the opposition.
He said: “While the government wishes them well in their endeavour, it is pertinent to note that for every appointee, the PDP has several other more qualified people who are ready and willing to be trusted with such privileged positions of responsibility.
“It is indeed important to say that the PDP has discovered also that these unstable defectors have not got the support of the people of the respective areas who have been embittered until recently that they have not extended the support that they have been receiving as leaders to the people.
“In almost all cases, the resignations are a sign of relief, which are occasioned by celebration from the people who feel oppressed by these defectors. The government shall recognise and appoint members who are willing to work in the interest of the party, and the good people of the state.”
He disclosed that there “are currently over 3,000 appointees. The resignation of a few appointees will not make a difference in the November 16 governorship election. Those who resigned in 2015 were far more than the current number. Yet, they could not stop the PDP from winning the elections convincingly”
Some aides, including the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters I, Stephen Diver; his counterpart on Power Development, Michael Ogiase and Benjamin Ogbara, Director, Ethics and Compliance, Due Process Bureau had resigned their appointments earlier in the week.
He had also fired his Special Adviser on Gender and Talent Development, Helen Bob, for, among others, openly criticising the government and posting about her readiness to work for the opposition APC on one of her social media pages.
Apart from 32 chairmen appointed yesterday, Dickson had earlier appointed seven special advisers including Churson Obosi, for the newly created ministry of NGOs, Cooperative and Diaspora Affairs.
On Friday, specifically, the governor appointed 60 special assistants. He had also sworn in several special advisers including the former Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Sagbama Local Government Area, Michael Magbisa, and his Yenagoa counterpart, Mr. Austin Sambo.
In addition, the governor had appointed Mr Living Mitin as Special Governor’s Representative for Ekeremor Local Government Area, while Weris Tike was picked as Chairman, Waterways, for Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.