By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Bayelsa State government has announced its readiness to conduct election into the original eight local government councils in the state, declaring that it will cost the state N900 million to conduct a free and fair poll at the local level.
Speaking during an interactive session on the state radio, Governor Timipre Sylva said though the conduct of the poll was delayed due to threats of violence, the present administration has decided to conduct the election in August, 2009.
Chief Sylva said the refusal of the state government to conduct the local government election in the past was not due to fear of any opposition and violence, but the need to ensure adequate preparation was made by the election body in terms of funding and logistics.
â€œWe are now ready. I have gone to Abuja to get permission and right now it is clear to me that we can hold the council election irrespective of the action of some persons.
The issue was discussed at exco and agreed that a sum of N900 million is needed. I will look for the money so that we can conduct the polls,â€ he said.
The governor, who said he was being put under undue pressure by politicians outside the state over his decision not to engage in fraudulent practice and divert state fund into private pockets, insisted that he would confront those involved through excellent performance at the end of his tenure.
Governor Sylva said though attempts by his administration to ward off the pressure and bring those involved on board as agents of development failed, the pressure had become an embarrassing one in which every move by his administration for infrastructural development and human empowerment was politicized and altered to the detriment of the people.
He said the issues of the proposed visit of the president to the state, the change of the landscape of the state capital and decisions on civil service audit were politicized by those he tagged â€œimplacable politiciansâ€.
Chief Sylva said he had since discovered that those opposed to his government were doing so because all they were interested in is the sharing of the state resources and the destruction of any development achieved by his administration.
â€œWhat these people understand by being carried along is the sharing of money. How much does the state have to share with these people? After salary, the state has nothing.
â€œIf I were somewhere and the people are happy that a tarred road constructed by government leads to their houses, is it not better than sharing the state money?
â€œI have tried discussing with these people but I discovered that they donâ€™t want to see anything good in the state and there is nothing I can do about that. I have not said I am perfect and everybody else is not perfect. It is the collective efforts of all of us that can make something perfect,â€ he said.
Governor Sylva, however, assured that his administration will not be deterred by rising cases of sponsored attacks and challenged those involved to admit to the fact that most of the projects completed by his administration were abandoned by previous administrations of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan and Dr. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha with over 90 per cent contract sums paid out.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Executive Council (SEC) has adopted a new Information Management Policy for the activities of the present administration in the state.
Speaking at a media interactive session, the state Commissioner for Information, Communication and Strategy, Chief Asara A Asara, said the new management policy for information dissemination was not a gagging order on officials of the state government, but a means to regulate information dissemination among top government officials of the state.