from all Africa
By Samuel Oyadongha
Special Adviser to Bayelsa State Governor on Political Affairs, Dr. George Fente, yesterday, lamented what he described as the widespread poverty in the rural enclave of the predominantly riverine state blaming past administrations for failing to tackle the menace.
Speaking at a two-day political enlightenment programme in Yenagoa, Dr. Fente noted with sadness that the third tier of government, the pivot of democratic structure has been reduced to perform the duties of salary payment alone with the various communities abandoned to their fate.
Dr. Fente, who said the essence of any responsible government is to strive towards providing good government through effective machinery and facilities that can impact positively on the lives of the governed, however lamented the Bayelsa situation saying his recent tour of the councils speaks volume about the spate of neglect at the rural enclave.
His words, "Past administrations in the state have tried their best to bring about general wellbeing of the average Bayelsans. Sadly enough, the perceived attention paid by previous governments did not seem to have helped much in reversing the hitherto poverty, hunger, starvation and general underdevelopment which had been the lot of the people over the years.
"This unfortunate situation came to the fore during my two weeks tour of the eight local government areas of the state. The report of my painful findings at the third tier of government speaks volume about the spate of neglect at the rural communities.
"The local government administration, the fulcrum of democratic system, has been reduced to perform the duties of salary payment alone while the various communities have been left to their fate."
The governor's aide who reiterated the determination of the present administration to turn around the fortunes of the state said the enlightenment programme "is aimed at showcasing the sustainable political culture that is capable of providing the necessary ingredients and foundation for Bayelsans to fashion out a political future that will enhance and facilitate democratic growth and dividends for the people."
Dr. Fente used the opportunity to call on Bayelsans with ideas that would further help lift the state from its present position to the number one economically, politically and socially urbanized state in the country to rally around the present administration.
He however expressed optimism that the outcome of the workshop will no doubt help the state government and by extension the Niger Delta region to formulate viable policies and programmes that will contribute to political and industrial growth, peace and stability in Bayelsa and therefore end the embarrassing social vices of hostage taking, pipeline vandalisation and unprovoked violence by the youths.
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