By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa â€” The Bayelsa State chapter of Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, has challenged the state government to render to the people its income and expenditure account in line with the tenet of its recently inaugurated Bayelsa Expen-diture and Income Transpa-rency Initiative, BEITI.
Rising from its meeting held at the Opolo suburb of Yenagoa, the group declared that Bayelsans have the right to know how much money was received and the amount spent.
The CLO, in a statement signed by Comrade Vincent Akpatamu and Comrade Alagoa Morris, Chairman and Secretary, respectively, urged Governor Timipre Sylva to take a cue from neighbouring Rivers State governor who has been consistent in rendering account of his stewardship to the people of the state.
The group said, â€œBayelsa State govern-ment should render account to the people of the state.
The people are entitled to know how much was received and how much was spent on what.
A cue should taken from the Rivers State governor, where he publicly renders account of his stewardship to the people of Rivers State.
â€œThis has become nece-ssary since the BEITI is like another charade meant to bamboozle the people.â€
â€œOtherwise, since the inauguration of BEITI Multi-Stakeholders Working Group on March 5, 2009, why is it that nothing has been heard from the so called transparency and accountability body?
â€œSuch a body needs not be bugged down by bureaucracy, sadly no statement has come out from the BEITI, yet the government prides itself to have set up a body saddled with the responsibility to tell Bayelsans funds that were received by the state and how such funds were spent on their behalf. Let the Bayelsa State government take the gauntlet and render the much needed account to the people of the state in the spirit of BEITI.â€
On the issue of loans, the group said the state government should always consult stakeholders and the people before going for any loan.
The state house of assembly, it noted should take a cue from the National Assembly by organizing public hearings on topical/sensitive issues and pleaded with it not to isolate itself like masquerade, saying proceedings need to be made public and memoranda invited from the public where necessary to allow for inputs from the public as well as get informed opinion to arrive at a positive end.
Lamenting what it described as the near collapse of the state educational sector, the group called on the state government to respect its pronouncement on giving priority to education matters adding that teachers should not be owed salaries and their promotion arrears not denied them or delayed so as to boost their productivity.