Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Henry Seriake Dickson on Monday in Yenagoa assured civil servants that the government would commence the payment of salaries to workers who have completed the process of verification, through their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) at the end of this month.
He however warned perpetrators of payroll fraud and other sharp practices to stop forthwith or face the full weight of the law.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Mrkson, said the Governor, who gave the assurance, while speaking on live radio interview programme insisted that the government would drive the process to a logical conclusion.
He explained that his administration has good intentions for the state, adding that the situation has informed the government’s decision to embark on the verification process.
While urging genuine workers not to entertain any fear of sack, he expressed confidence that the technology and method being used in the ongoing exercise would further reduce the wage bill of the state from its current N4 billion to a more realistic figure.
Dickson said, “Those people in the civil service who are used to adding names on the payroll at the LG level, teaching service, parastatals and in the main civil service must stop because there is simply no money to service their criminality and greed. They have done it for all these years and now we are saying, enough is enough.
“We want a situation where after this verification process, the genuine civil servants will all be paid even if it is N2 billion that we get in a month. I really feel bad that for about three months now, workers have not been paid. But we are making efforts to get the funds to pay them at the end of this month by the grace of God. Those of them that have done their verification and produced their BVNs will have their salaries.”
Speaking on the increasing level of electoral violence in the country, Dickson called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order a full-scale investigation into election-related killings in Rivers and Bayelsa States.
Governor Dickson, who strongly condemned the wanton destruction of lives and property that greeted the rerun of the state and national assembly elections in Rivers State, at the weekend, emphasised that the growing trend where some politicians resort to violence as a means to achieving their political ambitions, portends a grave danger to democracy and stability of the country.
The governor equally expressed serious concern over the development, and wondered why the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government was yet to identify and prosecute those who maimed and killed innocent Bayelsans during the state governorship elections.
He pointed out that though security agencies have a crucial role to play in elections, overzealous operatives, who go about their duties in an unprofessional manner should be investigated and punished accordingly when found culpable.
Describing his brand of politics as issue-based and devoid of violence, he gave an assurance that, the state government would do everything within its powers to bring all the sponsors and hoodlums that played a role in the Bayelsa saga to justice, for it to serve as a deterrent in future elections.
He said, “I want to use this opportunity knowing what we ourselves passed through in this state in the last governorship elections to condemn the criminality and violence that have attended elections in Rivers State, just the same way we condemned the hoodlums and others who were engaged to wreak havoc on our people.
“I condemn it in its totality and call on the President to take more than passing interest in all these developments; the issue of electoral violence in Bayelsa particularly in Southern Ijaw, Brass and Ekeremor Local Government Areas. The President should not feign ignorance but call the security officers to conduct thorough investigation and give them marching orders to fish out those responsible because every life is important. No life should be cut short because of someone’s political ambition.”