Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has charged new caretaker committee chairmen of councils and their Rural Development Authority (RDA) counterparts in the state to reside in their local government headquarters.
Governor Diri gave the directive on Wednesday during the swearing-in ceremony of the eight councils and 32 RDA chairmen at the Executive Council Chambers of Government House, Yenagoa.
The oaths of allegiance and office were administered by the state Chief Registrar, Amaebi Oruka.
The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, stressed that the government will frown at any council chairman that flouted the directive on residency.
He also directed the new chairmen and their RDA counterparts to appoint only five Supervisory Councilors and that they are only entitled to three personal aides.
Governor Diri equally reminded them that the embargo on employment was still in force and that loans from banks and private sources were prohibited.
He urged the National Assembly to consider creating more local government areas for the state, stating that Bayelsa deserves at least 30 constitutionally.
He said: “All caretaker committee chairmen and Rural Development Authority chairpersons are to reside in their local government headquarters and daily work there. Any travel outside the local government must be with the permission from my office.
“For the eight local government chairmen, you are to appoint five supervisory counselors. You are entitled to three special assistants only. And they are personal assistant, chief security officer and protocol officer.
“There is still embargo on employment at all levels of staff be it temporary or casual employment. There is also a complete ban on all forms of borrowing, including loans from the bank and private sources.
“For emphasis, the issue of residency is very serious. We have had council chairmen that resided in Yenagoa. But we will no longer tolerate any chairman of council that makes Yenagoa his home rather than residing in the headquarters of the council or development authority.
“Bayelsa State currently has eight local government councils as enshrined and recognized by the 1999 constitution as amended. I therefore like to call on all members of the National Assembly from the state to make effort to ensure our 24 RDAs are recognized as local government councils.
“Local government councils should actually be the creation of the people of a particular state, depending on their resources. I do believe and know that if we control our resources in Bayelsa, we can create the number of local governments that will benefit our people.”
The new caretaker committee chairmen are Alabo Hanson Karima (Brass), Chief. Belemu Nemine (Ekeremor), Inemo Oruebimiekumo (Kolokuma/Opokuma ) and Chief Samuel Kalaguo (Nembe)
Others are Chief Ibu Williams Mizodome (Ogbia), Richman Samuel Ebipade (Sagbama), Lucky Okodeh (Souther Ijaw), and Mr. Tobi Andy (Yenagoa)
Among the newly appointed 32 RDA chairpersons were seven women.