The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Governing Council and Management of the Niger Delta University (NDU) have disagreed over the ongoing reforms embarked upon by the Governor Seriake Dickson administration.
While the APC described the reform as “draconian” and “wicked” due to poor timing and loss of over 4,000 jobs, the governing council and management of the Niger Delta University (NDU) threw their weight behind the Bayelsa State government and described the reform as well intentioned for the good of the state.
The chairman of the council, Prof. Steve Azaiki, while speaking with newsmen shortly after a meeting between Governor Seriake Dickson and the Governing Boards of state-owned tertiary institutions in Government House, Yenagoa, expressed the NDU Governing Council’s readiness to implement government’s policy of sanitizing the public service. He noted that the practice where the university solely depend on the state government to fund its over bloated workforce was unsustainable.
He absolved Governor Dickson of any blames in the current shake-up in the university where about 1,700 workers have been earmarked for redeployment, retirement and outright disengagement.
According to him, it was the leadership of the university that listed the affected staff following the outcome of a discreet verification to ensure efficiency, better service delivery as well as create space for the employment of young qualified people particularly Bayelsans.
He said, “The amount of money that government has been giving to NDU is not sustainable. Suppose oil price falls or there are issues of governance or politics. Anything can happen and then the university will collapse. So we need to look inwards and see how we can come up with a sustainable figure.
“After all, some of them are due for retirement; some are incompetent while others are facing disciplinary actions. So, we will make separate recommendations for all the cases because I believe that the governor is ready to accommodate Bayelsans in our system. So there is no need for people to take laws into their hands.”
Reacting to the development, the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State faulted as “anti-people” and “draconian” the ongoing reform of the public sector by the state government, saying the redeployment and alleged sack of over 4,000 workers and seizure of salary are wicked and should be stopped.
According to the APC, the recent circular, issued by the head of Service of the state, Rev. Thomas Zidafamor to heads of affected parastatals and agencies to stop salaries of genuine workers is wicked, vexatious and anti-people.
The APC in a statement issued yesterday and signed by the state publicity secretary, Hon. Panebi Fortune, stated that despite the suffering of the state workforce, the party stand with them during these trying moments.
According to the statement, “The leadership of the Bayelsa State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress, (APC) has lashed out at the skewed manner in which the Restoration Government is handling ongoing reforms in the civil service. The recent circular issued by the Head of Service of the state, Rev. Thomas Zidafamor to heads of affected parastatals and agencies to stop salaries of genuine workers is wicked, vexatious and anti-people.
“We condemn the action of the Bayelsa State government and describe Governor Seriake Dickson, as a Pharaoh, who is using his second term to cause pains and sorrow to families. We have observed the wicked things the government is doing in the guise of deployment after rounds of staff biometric verification, calling the mass sack redeployment.”
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