Governance in this part of the world is engulfed in a pool of negative public opinion. In most scenarios justifiably so. But there are few exceptions and Governor Diri Douye of Bayelsa State is standing out to be counted. Aptly called the Miracle Governor due to the intriguing circumstances that surrounded his election, in just100 days in office, it is safe to say that the success achieved thus far even under unfavorable conditions clearly shows the efforts of a leader who understands the true meaning of public service.
Upon the inauguration of the new government, a quick dispelling of the cloud of confusion and negativity was needed. Senator Diri Duoye recognised this need and did exactly what was needed, setting the tone with a powerful inaugural speech of uncompromising reconciliation.
“Where there is darkness, let us bring light,” he said quoting a Catholic friar, St.
Francis of Assisi. The government under his leadership is indeed bringing light in these dark times, through actions and policies that are people-centred. Such policies and actions include the much needed albeit commendable cut down of cost of governance. A significant reduction in the number of ministries from 32 to 21 helped to ensure this reduction in cost. The extra funds available will definitely help to drive home other policies that tend to cater directly for the peoples’ needs. An example of such is the revolution of the state’s civil service. There is an unwavering assurance of promotion for deserving individuals as at when due and immediate enjoyment of the entitlements that come with new positions. It is worthy to note that all the benefits of the ongoing civil service reforms are not just empty promises as they are already being implemented.
It is rightly said that “real leadership is leaders recognizing that they serve the people that they lead.” This is exactly the part that Governor Douye has decided to follow and it is further shown in pension reforms. These reforms have seen prompt payment of pensions and gratuities to both those currently due and those owed in the past. Such reforms directly affect the livelihoods of the people of the state as does the distribution of the much -needed palliatives and the proper sanitation of the Swali market, the largest commercial center in the state capital.
The government is proactive in its actions to try and successfully limit the impact of the coronavirus on the health and welfare of the people and also the state’s economy. These proactive measures enabled the government to implement a partial lockdown, when other states went for total shutdown, crippling businesses and livelihoods. The effective regulation of the hike in prices of goods is commendable and a show of true solidarity with the people’s welfare in these dire times.