Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government yesterday maintained that those who were bent on taking the outgoing Governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, to the cleaners, since the loss of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election, would regret it after his exit.
Speaking during the monthly transparency briefing for the month of November, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation, argued that Dickson will go down in history as one of the best performing governors in the country.
During the meeting, government through the Special Adviser, Treasury, Accounts and Revenue, Mr. Timipre Seipulo also disclosed that after the payment of salaries, contractors and other expenses, including the various deductions at source, the state was left with a deficit of N2 billion for the month of November 2019.
He put the federal allocation for the month under review at N3.2 billion, derivation was N9.6 billion, while Value Added Tax (VAT) totalled N896 million, exchange gain difference was N28 million and revenue from solid minerals stood at N49 million, leaving the gross revenue at N13.9 billion.
“After FAAC deductions of N1.55 billion, restructured loan repayments, commercial agric payments, excess crude loan, restructured commercial bank loans, salaries, grants to tertiary institutions and a balance brought forward of N2 billion from October, the state was left with N2.1 billion deficit,” he said.
In his remarks, Iworiso-Markson said the leadership of the present administration under Dickson defied all challenges to break new grounds in tackling developmental needs of the state, stressing that posterity will judge the governor favourably
He enjoined those who are in the habit of running down the governor to have a rethink, else they will one day look back and regret all the unkind words they said to him while in office.
“When all is said and done, mark my words, this governor will be one governor that Bayelsa will be very proud to call their own any day any time.
“Bayelsans will miss Governor Dickson and that’s why for those of you who are quick to join the bandwagon, to join the naysayers just because there’s a new government coming, to run down this administration and run down the person of His Excellency, you’re making a huge mistake.
“You’re making a very big mistake because governance is not a tea party. I know so because I am one who has been very privileged to work closely with this governor and I make bold to say that I will defend this government now and forever and I make bold to say that I will not regret one day in serving this government.
“So no matter what anybody says about this governor, it is their personal opinion and so they can go on and on and rant as much as they like on social media but let me put it on record that the Restoration Government is one government that our children and our children yet unborn will be so proud to talk about for the rest of their days,” he said.
According to the Information Commissioner, Dickson showed uncommon doggedness in addressing educational backwardness of the state through free primary and post primary education.
He added: “Let me quickly say that in less than a month this government that has done a lot to turn around the fortunes of our state will exit, will handover and this is the first government that will be handing over to another government.
“I want to on behalf of the Restoration Government thank Bayelsans most sincerely for their support, for their abiding faith in the Restoration Government.
“You know sometimes we tend to forget, eight years is a long period and this government has defied all odds, all the challenges to remain firm, steadfast and faithful to our course,and by February 14th, next month, we would have reached the end of the road in terms of our service to Bayelsans.
“I want to say here and now that the Restoration Government will go down in history as one administration that has achieved the most in all areas”.
Iworiso-Markson also highlighted the unequalled scholarship programme, infrastructural development and investments in the health sector as some of the achievements of the Dickson-led administration.
“Let it be said here and now that posterity will be fair to Governor Dickson. Governor Dickson will go down in history as one of the best governors to have emerged in Nigeria’s democratic system since the advent of the present democratic dispensation.
“When all is said and done, this governor will be one governor that Bayelsans will be very proud to call their own. Bayelsans will miss Governor Dickson” he said.
He described his stewardship under Dickson as a rewarding journey and expressed determination to defend the restoration government at all times.
The government spokesman said he was privileged just like most of his colleagues to have served in the Government alongside the governor in this last eight years.
He also expressed gratitude to Bayelsans for their abiding faith in the government and urged them to extend the gesture to the incoming administration.