Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, at the weekend warned against the dangers of politicizing the public service in the state.
Speaking while inaugurating the new Head of Service, Mrs. Biobelemoye Charles-Onyeama, in Government House, Yenagoa, the governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Fidelis Soriwei, said he had laid a foundation for a professional civil service.
Dickson said: “The Civil service should not be part of the political fray in the state. The civil service should not be treated as an arm of a political party.
“It should be apolitical at all time. I charge you to give leadership, mobilize all permanent secretaries and civil servants for every government.”
The governor said posterity would be fair to him and his team for repositioning the state civil service to uphold the virtues of discipline, hardwork and neutrality.
He urged Charles-Onyeama to bring her wealth of experience to bear on the implementation of the reforms.
The governor described the new Head of Service as a hard working and conscientious public servant adding that her appointment was based on merit and seniority having successfully completed her training at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies.
He also commended the immediate past Head of Service, Mr. Luka Wellington Obiri on his meritorious service and support to the reforms.
He said: “I want to urge you and charge you also to lead the civil service in an apolitical manner. I want to use this opportunity to advise that politicians should not politicize the civil service of our state, we have tried to professionalize it, we have tried to inject productivity and discipline.
“Politicians can have their quarrels and fights, but the worst thing that can happen to any state is when the civil service becomes a part of political battles.
“And that is why I have tried in this 8 years to ensure that at anytime I have had to take decisions concerning the civil service, I do so in a fair manner and also in a manner that will protect the political neutrality.
“I will like to see moving forward under your leadership will be a professional civil service, we have already established a basic foundation upon which we stand, the civil service where merit and hardwork are recognized.
“Also, we now have a civil service founded on discipline and not a civil service where people go and purchase grade levels and steps at will as it used to be, not a civil service where people will collect salaries without going to work, not a civil service where people have work in three different places.”
In her remarks, Charles-Onyeama expressed gratitude to the governor for the appointment and pledged to carry out the mandate given her.