From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has dissolved the eight local government caretaker committees..
This was even as he approved dissolution of all statutory commissions, whose tenure had expired expect the Local Government Service Commission.
Although no reason was given for the dissolutions, Daily Sun gathered that the tenure of the caretaker committee had expired but lobbyists mounted pressure on behalf of the chairmen and some members who areseen as “Dickson boys” to be retained since paucity of funds is still delaying conduct of council election.
Dickson’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso- Markson, in a statement, said the dissolution was with immediate effect.
“Governor Dickson has approved the dissolution of the caretaker committees of the eight councils in the state. This is with immediate effect. To this end, all the council caretaker chairmen and their members have been directed to hand over to the head of administration of their various councils.
“Similarly, governor Dickson has approved dissolution of statutory commissions, whose tenure have elapsed with the exception of local government service commission with immediate effect.
“He thanked them for their services to the state and wished them well.”
The dissolution, sources told Daily Sun, became imperative following continued embarrassment the state government had been subjected to due to the salary arrears of local government workers running into 10 months.
Primary school teachers had recently embarked on an industrial action over the non-payment of their salaries until Dickson intervened and released N300 million to augment the payment of their salaries.
The governor, during one of his monthly transparency briefings, lamented the huge wage bill of local councils, and directed the caretaker chairmen to curb wage bill fraud in the councils to be able to pay salaries.
“However, they did not take action and even the release of their share of the Paris Club refund money could not solve the salaries problems.”
Other sources said Dickson, irked with the continued listing of Bayelsa among states owing the highest number of months of local government workers’ salaries, decided to kick the caretaker committees out and inject new blood to run the councils.
Another source said two caretaker chairmen of Yenagoa and Brass councils, Oboko Oforji and Bello Bin,a respectively, “might be retained because of their infrastructure development, the same thing cannot be said of the vice chairmen and other members as most of them would be change.”
Stakeholders in Sagbama and Kolokuma/Opokuma are also mounting pressure for the re-appointment of Michael Magbisa and Wisdom Fafi, respectively.
Meanwhile, Bina has reacted to the dissolution of the management of the eight councils.
He thanked the state governor for the opportunity to serve.
Bina, who is adjudged one of the most performed council boss with over 26 projects to his credit, said although the decision was sudden, it did not come as a surprise due to the zeal, commitment and loyalty of his council to work in line with the restoration agenda.