By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan
January 3, 2017 (SSB) — The Jonglei State governor’s cabinet reshuffle caught me by surprise. And I never got the news till I 8am on Wednesday. I did not expect it. But the ministers kicked out had tough times recently with the public.
That aside, the new deputy governor is not a newcomer to politics. Agot Alier Leek, has held several political posts in Jonglei – dating back to pre-2005. His latest positioning being commissioner of Bor County. I had left Bor when he became the commissioner but remained in touch with him in one way or the other.
During one of our encounters, we spoke about empowering the people. He said people must be self-reliance and cease / scale-down depending on UN handouts. This is a strong argument and attracted my attention.
Now that he is back to one of the most powerful position in the State, he must really work hard to restore that confidence among our people.
I am not a student of this new political manoeuvring in South Sudan – where a certain section of the community must be represented in government for “representation.” I strongly believe in leadership of an individual person to deliver services. So I don’t care why Agot was appointed in the first place or why Wal Athiu Madol was fired. That is according to the governor and his inner circle.
Dr. Agot Alier Leek, as he is popularly known, has not done much, however, during his tenures as minister of health, commissioner of Bor county etc. But now that he is back to the top leadership, he has to do something better. Here is what I would expect him to do – alongside Governor Philip Aguer Panyang.
- Resettlement – Hundreds of thousands of Bor people remain scattered across the country. Resettle the people displaced to Gulyar (Mingkaman) – just across the Nile River – back to Bor town – and subsequently to their families. I know this is hard to achieve but there is no option if we want to survive as people. The cattle camps in Equatoria and Aliap must be returned home.
- Security – Security is a prerequisite to resettlement. The failure by Jonglei State government to provide security to the villagers has led to this reluctance to return home. We must provide security to the villages as a matter of urgency.
- Health, education and roads – these are the next facilities needed to retained returnees in Bor town or in the villages. No parents would wish their children to stay without education, access to medical services or mobility to move freely.
- Etc. After that, we can talk politics.
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