Officials of the Bayelsa State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) have criticized Governor Seriake Dickson for frequently traveling out of the state.

The union’s criticism was contained in a communiqué it issued at the end of its general congress held at the NUJ secretariat in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on Wednesday.

The union advised the governor to reduce the frequency with which he travels outside the state and to concentrate instead on governance.

The eight-point communiqué further suggested that Mr. Dickson visit communities in the state to ascertain the problems affecting different communities in order to attempt solving them. The union also urged the state government to conduct quarterly Town Hall meetings in order to integrate the views of the people of the state in major government policies and programs affecting the public.

The communiqué, which was signed by the NUJ’s chairman, Tarinyo Akono, and secretary, Samson Opokuma, called for security operatives to “extend security surveillance to all the streets in Yenagoa to effectively protect lives and property.”

The congress also expressed support for the ongoing investigation of top management of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in Yenagoa by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly over incessant power outages in the state capital and its surrounding towns. The union also praised the state legislature’s efforts to stop all illegal collection of tariffs.

The union called on the PHCN to stop its arbitrary community billing system. Instead, it suggested that the power company install transformers and meters in residential homes and offices.

The NUJ also condemned the indiscriminate dumping of refuse by residents of Yenagoa, demanding that the Bayelsa State environmental sanitation task force be alive to its responsibilities.

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