Putting old wine into new wineskins: The case of the commissioner of Abiriu County in Gok state

Posted: February 2, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By David Deng Chapath, Kampala, Uganda

RSS coat of ARMS

South Sudan’s coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

February 2, 2017 (SSB) —- In Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:21-22 and Luke 5:33-39 Jesus told his disciples that “neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins nor if they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

The above saying from our Lord Jesus is latent with a lot of moral lessons that we must learn and apply them in real life not only in Gok State but in the whole of South Sudan.  Therefore, in relation to that saying, I would like discuss the problems that are facing people of Abiriu County in Gok State.

For that reason, I must clearly state the subject matter of this article on set that this Article is concerned about the corruption that has become endemic in Abiriu County under the current Commission Hon. Bol Madok, a man who cares for nothing but how to exploit Abiriu County people. He has introduced multiple taxes and other unlawful practices that I will discuss in later part of this article.

However, before I expose those bad practices of the Commissioner of Abiriu County to the Governor of Gok State, Hon. Madhang Majok, all South Sudanese and to the whole world, I would first like to give the background of Gok State and then Abiriu County so that some South Sudanese who are not aware are able to know the location of Abiriu County in Gok State.

Gok State is one of the 33 States of South Sudan. It is located in the Bahr el Ghazal region, and was formerly part of the Lakes State. Gok State borders Tonj to the west and Western Lakes to the east. The state had a population of 117,755 in 2008 and an estimated population of 174,460 in 2014.

Before the creation of Gok State, Gok area was formerly part of Lakes State under the County of Cueibet. On 2 October 2015, President Salva Kiir issued a decree dissolving ten (10) States that were created by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (the CPA) 2005 and instead established 28 states. The twenty eight (28) States were later increased in 2016 to thirty two States plus Abyei Administrative area.

The current Governor of Gok State is Hon. Madang Majok who was appointed Governor on by the President of South Sudan on 24 December 2015. His appointment has been followed by relative stability that Gok people still enjoy up to date. In fact, the insecurity is ten year low and because of that we have to appreciate the role of the Governor.

Geographical location

In term of location in accordance with the former three regions, Gok State is located in the Bahr el Ghazal region, and though many people describe it as one of the smallest states that is just misnomer due to wrong understanding by some people. The criterion used by such people is determined in term of counties, which is not true.

 One county does not mean that a State is small rather what makes small state is the population and geographical size. Thus, in term of the two, Gok State is just like any other big States in South Sudan.

Administrative divisions

With regard to the administrative division, Gok State is currently consisted of nine counties. These are: Cueibet County (the Gok State Capital), Abiriu County, Duony County, Waat Adol County, Anyar Nguan County, Malou-Pech County, Joth Mayar County and Ngap County. It should noted as I have already pointed out above that Gok originally was one county (Cueibet County) but after the creation of Gok State with initial six counties more new counties were established, to bring a total number of nine.

Rationale for the establishment of Gok State

The rationale for the establishment of Gok State among others were to bring town closer to the people of Gok, to fight corruption that was killing Gok people under the Greater Lakes State, to ensure that security is secured and above all, to bring development to Gok area.

However, what seems to have been achieved in Gok State is security as there is currently to a greater degree, security in Gok State is stable as people are able to walk and interact freely among themselves.

Nonetheless, in relation to other rationales for the establishment of Gok State as listed above, still leave much to be desired.  This is because there is a terrible daylight robbery going on in some counties in Gok State of which Abiriu County as I will discuss them shortly is the case study.

In that respect, based on my recent visit to South Sudan, I discovered that the Commissioner of Abiriu County of Gok State is acting like a mercenary hired to run the county on profits and gain hence relegating the major reasons for the establishment of Gok State.

 The improvement of people’s well and development are the major reasons for establishment of Gok Statement, reasons which are now left To Whom It May Concern in some of the counties in Gok State and Abiriu in particular. The Commissioner of Abiriu County, Hon. Bol Madok, deserves not to have been appointed the commissioner of Greater County like Abiriu, a county inhabited by Great people due to the reasons I shall discuss shortly.

Corrupt practices that disenfranchise Gok State citizens in Abiriu County by the County Commissioner: Honour Bol Madok

As I have already pointed out above, my recent visit to Juba in South Sudan has exposed me to too many things, and in particular, to the suffering of our people in Abiriu County in Gok State under the colonialist-commissioner like in Abiriu.

Thus, it is important that I expose them to the people through media so that people and the government of South Sudan are able to know that within the government of the SPLM there are wolves in sheep clothing that have held the country and aspirations of citizens at hostage because of their personal greed for unbridled wealth.

Having stated above, I now go into the charges against the Commissioner of Abiriu County, Hon. Bol Madok and why he should be investigated by the State authorities because he is an enemy within the SPLM. These are the charges—

First all, Hon. Bol Madok is enriching himself at the expense of citizens of Western Lakes and Gok State. It has been proved by various sources that Bol Madok supports the cattle wrestling and raiding between Gok and Agar people.

Hon. Commissioner connives with youth who go to raid cattle from Agar side and after successful raid he shares cows with those raiders. This is a serious crime which in other words, means that he is an accomplice and the state authorities should investigate this fact and if found to have been involved then he must be charged in courts of law.

Secondly, Hon. Bol Madok has introduced illegal taxes that are not passed by the State Legislative Assembly of Gok State. For instance, he charges every vehicle that passes through Abiriu irrespective whether it was taxed already or not.

Bol has further introduced a hut tax in Abiriu County, which every house must pay in term of tin of grains (Dura) after every six months while people do not benefit from what they pay to him as they fall in to his bottomless corruption.

Bol is eating people’s things in Abiriu County through “Thong Kamuora” which in Dinka meaning eating people’s property without any satisfaction due to greed.

Finally, Bol has involved himself into serious land grabbing in Abiriu County as he is doing the business of land. Thus, he is selling other people’s land illegally, which has created tension in the Abiriu community and people have become victims of his greed for money and wealth.

In short, there are many bad things that Bol is doing in Abiriu against the people. He is embroiled in a very serious corruption and because of that the Governor should set up the committee to investigate him. This is because he is an enemy to the SPLM as a party.

The people who are corrupt like Bol should not be allowed to run the county like Abiriu. Though I support the governor of Gok State, Hon. Madhang Majok, at the same time I blame him for appointing Bol Madok, a soldier known of his corruption as he used to sell guns to people in Gok area. As a result, many people were killed.  Instead of appointing him, he should have been charged of murder.

The fact of selling guns to people as referred to above is undeniable because he was one time in prison because of that. Our governor should know that putting old wine into new wineskins can lead into burst of the old wineskins.

 In other words, the above saying of Jesus means that recycling bad and well-known corrupt persons in new states does not create new administration. Their corruption tendencies will still resurface with time and the government image will be damaged as people will lose confidence in the government due to corruption of its officials.

In summary, I would like to sum up by saying that the governor must know that being a great leader means protecting people interests not the government officials’ interests.

Hence, Bol Madok should be investigated and if these charges are proved as I know them to be true then he should be removed and replaced with another commissioner who is ready to serve citizens of Gok State.

NB// the author is South Sudanese student residing in Kampala Uganda and can be reached dengchapath@gmail.com



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