Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson on Wednesday said the Federal Government led by the All Progressives Congress (APC) was engaged in shadow-boxing while abandoning the real essence of governance.
The governor described as childish the party’s constant attacks on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) including APC’s lamentation that it inherited an empty treasury from the PDP.
“You don’t need to say that you inherited an empty treasury. Are treasuries full to be handed over. Treasuries are supposed to be used to work”, he said.
The governor, who spoke at a live broadcast in Yenagoa to address knotty issues arising from the ongoing public sector reforms in the state said at the end of its first term, APC would be judged by its achievements and not by the failures of the PDP.
Admitting that the PDP made its mistakes, he said the party in power should concentrate on righting the alleged wrongs of the PDP instead of engaging in blame games.
He asked the party to learn from him noting that when he took over from the past administration, he wasted no time blaming his predecessor and pursuing past officials despite what he saw in the files.
He said: “Sometimes you have a feeling that the APC even though in power is still in opposition and still on a campaign mode. I would have thought that after all the things that they said PDP didn’t do well and you claim Nigerians have voted for you, so you do the things rightly.
“Here in this state, there was a governor, who was there for almost six years, and I know what I saw in all the files, all projects and programmes. Have I wasted any time looking behind to pursue people?
“We used a red line across it and we did things differently. The point is that at the end of the day, you will every incumbent including the APC, they will be judged not by the failure of the preceding government, but by what they themselves had done.
“I think as the days and months are drawing closer, they will come to that realisation. And the sooner they realize that they will be judged by what they do or fail to do and not what the PDP didn’t do, the better.
“PDP is gone and the APC has won and supposedly they won because of those things that they are still talking about for three years. So, I consider it very childish. I thought that they should have done better than they are doing. Quite frankly, the PDP made its mistakes but the PDP also achieved a lot for our democracy and for our country”.
Dickson lamented that the country was divided sharply under the APC-led government and asked the ruling party to ensure Nigeria’s unification.
The governor decried the wanton killings of citizens on daily basis by not just Boko Haram but also by the armed herdsmen.
He said instead of facing the issues and tackling the violence headlong, the APC was dissipating its energy on looters’ list.
“There is too much division in the country now. So, the APC led government has to unify the country. There has to be a country first before you can claim you are in power or in government. They have not been able to unify the country.
“Look at the wanton killing and destructions of precious Nigerian lives not only by Boko Haram but now by herdsmen and we are told that they are foreigners, which means we under a foreign invasion.
“Yet you are not addressing those concerns and issues. You are talking of PDP. One list today and tomorrow another list. Yet we all know ourselves in this country. I believe hat our politics should be mature. We are not enemies.
“That we are in different political parties does not make us enemies. Even if we are not friends because w have a number of friends in all parties, at least we are Nigerians. We are human beings. So, in the first place, we share a common humanity. So, we should treat one another with respect if not with love”.
Dickson further asked the people of the state to brace up to the ongoing public sector reforms insisting that his administration would ensure effective and productive public sector.
He lamented the rots in the sector and likened the state’s payroll to the voter register where he said all kinds of names could be found.
He said in 2012 he inherited over N5bn monthly wage bill in the service and N1.6bn in the local government area but worked very hard through various verification committees to bring it down to N3.7bn for state and N1.1bn for the council.
He said all his efforts were geared towards handing over a disciplines, efficient public service to the incoming government adding that the motive was not to sack anybody.
While saying that genuine workers affected by the exercise would be re-absorbed and redeployed to other areas, he insisted that persons who had no reason to be in the service must go.
“We want to leave behind a reformed, repositioned, motivated and efficient workforce.
Whatever is good for this state, we are going to get it done.
He said: “Those who would be affected are citizens, we have to look at genuine issues. We are working in avenues to ameliorate the hardships and create other avenues for survival.
“Many states are sacking workers. The central focus is not to sack. It is repositioning.
In this reforms, those with teaching qualification, working in the parastatals, who can teach, the state needs all of them.
“We have ways of absorbing people on the condition that they must be existing workers, they must be committed workers. If you are a workers in Abuja, Lagos Port Harcourt, this state has fed you enough for the past 20 year. Enough is enough”.