YENAGOA (Sundiata Post) – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State has faulted All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Timipre Sylva, over his allegation that the state government deliberately owed pensioners and that if he became governor he would immediately pay their arrears.
Sylva was said to have held a meeting with the pensioners in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, where he claimed he only owed the pensioners N3 billion while in office unlike the N20 billion he said was being owed by the current administration.
Sylva had then solicited the support of the pensioners promising to pay all arrears owed them if elected governor.
But in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Director of Publicity of the Bayelsa Restoration Campaign Organisation, Jonathan Obuebite, the PDP said Sylva lied on his claims before the pensioners as he also promised the pensioners that they will be paid in due course.
According to him, the financial challenge facing the state as a national concern was responsible for the delay, stating that it was a fact that the Dickson administration inherited huge debts from the Sylva administration totaling N434 billion incurred from various loans and bonds and indeed that the government only met a paltry four thousand naira in the state coffers.
He said Sylva and his cronies stole the state blind making it one of the most heavily indebted states in country but which Governor Seriake Dickson and his team have now reduced to N90 billion.
He reminded the pensioners that Dickson had consistently paid their allowances since he became governor until recently when the financial situation in the state like those of other states fell.
“Every month he was setting aside N250 million to pay pensioners until two months ago when the allocation to the state dropped to a terrible level that it became difficult to pay. But the governor has promised that the pensioners will be paid this month”, he stated.
He said that state workers were already receiving their October salaries in spite of the low allocation he claimed came from the Federation Account last month and the pensioners will also begin to get theirs soon.
While commending the pensioners for refusing to endorse Sylva, Obuebite called on Baylesans especially the state civil servants not to be swayed by Sylva’s lies, saying he was known for deceits and tendency to renege on promises.
He asked if when Sylva was governor in spite of the huge allocations then and still went head to obtain loans and bonds without much to show for it, is it now there is paucity of resources he would serve the state better?
“We want to implore Bayelsans, particularly the civil servants,not to fall for Sylva’s lies. If they do they will have themselves to blame because Sylva will owe them ten months salaries. Their suffering will be unimaginable under Sylva. They should work to continue to support the re-election of the contriman governor who is known to be a prudent administrator and good manager of resources. At least they can testify that Governor Dickson is not owing them salaries even for one month when other states are owing their workers up to five months salaries”, he further stated.