By Emem Idio
YENAGOA—Bayelsa State House of Assembly, yesterday, approved N3 bilion for the acquisition of official cars for legislators, political appointees and the state security outfit, code named Operation Doo Akpo.
The approval from the state House of Assembly to Governor, Seriake Dickson, which was done behind closed doors, was said to be unanimously supported by the members on the floor of the House.
Speaker of the House, Konbowei Benson, who confirmed the development in a text message, said though the proceedings in which the approval was made were conducted in camera, there was no need for the media to be present because it lasted for only 30 minutes.
He said: “I know there will be reactions but the main issues are that even Doo Akpo security outfit needs vans. For the Assembly, it is our right to have official cars and we are now in our second year without cars. We are going for Highlander SUVs and not expensive Prado or Land Cruiser in order to cut cost.”
Reacting, former Secretary of Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, in Bayelsa State, Morris Alagoa, described the approval by the state Assembly as normal, saying: “Past administrations in the state did the same thing; even local government chairmen. Instead of speedboats for those in mainly riverine areas,
we have heard how chairman bought cars for legislators at that level. In fact, I guess this gesture is even coming relatively late in Dickson’s administration because I am aware that most political appointees during his first tenure were not provided with official cars. With this positive gesture, it goes to say that the days of 50 percent salary for civil servants and complain of bloated wage bills are over.”