Thousands of unemployed graduates in Bayelsa State converged on Yenagoa, the state capital, Friday, and threw their weight behind the decision of Governor Seriake Dickson to prosecute about 6000 workers indicted for payroll fraud in the state.
The jobless graduates, who came together under the aegis of the Bayelsa State Graduate Forum (BSGF), insisted that sanitizing the civil service system was to their advantage.
The group led by Eddy Soko, said the efforts of the government would remove fraudsters, who had denied fresh graduates employment opportunities in the state.
Soko said that all the jobless graduates decided to rally round the government because the state had suffered unduly from perpetrator of payroll fraud and other misdemeanor in the civil service.
He said: “How can people who are working in some federal institutions receiving salaries there and also drawing salaries every month from the State Civil Service. Or how do we continue to keep quiet when people who have officially attained the retirement age but have refused to leave, rather they swear in affidavit and change their date of births.
“This is clearly unfair to us as unemployed graduates and to the state in general .So also it has become imperative for us to lend our support to the government, because if the civil service is sanitized, there will be space for the teeming unemployed Bayelsa youths, particularly graduates like us to get employed.
“We are pained that some persons are kicking against the noble move by the government especially the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).Let us inform them that we will resist any attempt by them to shut down the state through needless protests. They should be ready to face us because we are talking about our future here.”
The concerned undergraduates also declared that the records available to them showed that over N2billion had been saved by the government in the ongoing reforms.
Soko said: “Therefore we are today declaring anyone or group who stands against the sincere intention of the State Government as an enemy of the state and we shall treat such persons. We will name and shame them. We will go through all legitimate means to fish out those people.
“We are saying NO to payroll fraud. NO to Ghost Workers, No to Birth Certificate Forgery. No to keeping of jobs for unborn children, concubines and certificate fraud just to remain in the civil service, thereby hindering qualified graduate in the state not to be employed”.