Opinion: Governor Victor Atem Atem, the best candidate for immediate dismissal

By Albino Kuek Deng

South Sudan’s governor of Gogrial State, Victor Atem Atem (File photo)

June 9th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – Hon. Governor Victor Atem Atem was appointed at the end of the year 2017 as the governor of Gogrial state to replace Deng Kuac Aduol (aka Gregory Vasili) who is the immediate in-law to President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
During the last one and half year in the office, Atem whose appointment was celebrated reservedly, fell in the hole of messes especially in the areas of governance and justice among the inhabitants of Gogrial State. Despite the State of Emergency adopted earlier last year and many other attempts by the president who has been committed to implementing peace across South Sudan, Atem’s government has been too successive and abusive on civilians and drastically weak to achieve the expected dreams of Gogrial natives.
Nothing was best out of that government!
Look at his messes enumerated below, to reserve some for next time.
1-Dear readers, the government which have seen almost 70 Ex,  ministers,  county commissioners and advisors did not achieved anything because majority of relieved officials were either secondary or primary school pupils who neither heard nor came across governmental activities once,
 but how did they come to the power? Feel free to read this;
In Gogrial State as initiated by him (Atem), officials are appointed to constitutional posts by paying sum of SSP 100, 000 for commissionership, 5 heifers for the  case of ministerial positions and two bulls for advisory posts , several illiterates came to offices in that ways while others are his close relatives or in-laws, among his relatives is Adhil Mabuoc, his younger nephew who is currently his Security Advisor, moreover, those who give empty promises would last only for weeks or two months in the offices, former commissioner of one of the counties in Kuac was among the victims.
That reckless appointment of illiterate officials didn’t stop in State’s Capital, but reached as far Juba, readers, believe me or not, our chief coordinator based in Juba, named as Mariak Madut is among those who doesn’t read and write; traditional thumbprint is still his official signature since he can’t draw not even his name. Mariak Madut was just a fuel seller who later on became a Nilepet dealer, he knows nothing about administrative works of the office and could have not been a right man in that office.
“Why did he appoint him? remain a common question up to date”
Nothing was best out of that government!
2 – Illegal taxes 
Do you know today that Atem Atem is richer if not the riches Governor in the country? Today in Gogrial, citizens are forced to pay households taxes, opposed to national ministry of finance, national revenue authority and local government policies.
Recently, each household pays SSP 1000 monthly, in addition to that, there is also an emerging unlawful monthly contributions of SSP 100,000 per county done separately in a pretext that the governor wants to rebuild his house which was angrily burned down by one of his wives over an alleged disagreement on family issues that are rumored to be negligence in enrollment of some kids to schools, according to a source related to the family of governor.
You can guess and see the figure of millions he earns every months apart from the auction of  movable assets of the state such as cars and motorbikes. We live in a state without sumptuary in handling resources.
Still, Nothing is best out of that government!!
Do you know that it wasn’t Atem Atem’s efforts that brought peace in Gogrial State?
Dear readers, I sometime fail to understand how we encode political achievements of our leaders wrongly, I could not have  seen some of us praising the kleptocracy of Atem Atem or at times, go as far as to call him “peacemaker’,
 which peace did he make?
Be reminded that the appointment of Victor Atem coincided with the renewal of State of Emergency with all undefined powers to use, what happened thereafter? The then rival communities of Aguok and Apuk were in hot counterattack between them on the issues which were reestablished  and left unresolved by Gregory Vasili.
3. When the rampant killing of Agoth Macholdit alongside with others started, the gist behind the matter was not to silent the conflict, but rumuorsily to fulfill his longtime dissatisfactions with the deceased since he calls him as his Uncle (Agoth), the Late who has never been active in that communal violent was forced to produce an alleged rifle which he believed to have surrendered it to the store during Gregory’s regime, at the scene, all the necessary documents supporting the claim were produced in presence of the county commissioner according to the source who begged anonymity, the Late since he was innocent, attempted to resist the unlawful arrest, Atem  through phone ordered the shooting of late Agoth Macholdit mercilessly.
But be remembered what happened next,
Reflecting back to the nightmare of 2018, the incident of Majak-kou area, when he armed his family members to sneaked into territory of Aguok Kuei and killed fiercely five people while sleeping, people casted tears as they asked themselves, “which law is Atem Atem and his nephew Adhil Mabuoc, the security advisor used?
Why did he ordered the killing of  his innocent uncle? and why did he arm his relatives to murder the innocent civilians of Aguok harshly and why did he turn the blame to the whole youth of Apuk? Why”?
With these above, still, we gave him chance to watch his film, surprisingly, he ordered  the arrest of suspects and placed them under house arrest in Kuajok; repeatedly, patience was greatly exercised by community of Aguok because they knew the court could take it cost and solved the matter amicably.
Intellectuals from Aguok wherever they were, sat and made an appeal to their youth in rural areas to cease any plan that could  escalate the violence, and were begged to wait for the result of the so-called special court which he constituted to blindfold the victims of the conflict. Aguok and Apuk were already Aceldama.
Without fear of God, Atem decided to secretly released his relatives from the detention centres, as we speak, the news of these suspects is nowhere to heard, go to Kuajok prisons and check for yourself, you wouldn’t find anyone and there was no official verdict from the court to free the suspects, not even investigation, it was perturbing and could have discouraged a civic peace too, still, patience was highly exercised,  and therefore, Atem should know that we are watching his motives closely, he will never escape the curse of those innocent bloods, though he escaped dismissal so far.
What a ” vulgar and barbaric government”
Nothing was best out of that government!!
The two incidents and many more, undoubtedly proved that intransigent Atem is not a man of peace and justice and will never bring any peace to the state, the stability you see today came through the sacrifice of disarmament forces and those innocent people who paid their lives pricelessly  for the stability of his government.
Be reminded as well, that during those days, forces of disarmament who were deployed to voluntarily disarmed civilians were his sharp sword, but recently, president dismantled the validity of State of Emergency and I therefore wonder how Gogrial State will look without these great warriors who devoted themselves for the safety of Gogrial Citizens, without a capable governor to lead them, I can’t imagine what’s next since the civilians have already lost appetites in Atem’s Leadership.
To conclude this part, I want to say, the impudence, mismanagement of state resources, biasness in decision makings will never have rooms anymore.
However, you (Atem) won your one-way ticket
“as a best candidate for dismissal “
Citizens of Gogrial State,  we must stand up for kletocracy, interferences and this Dictatorial rule; power belongs to the people and we have right to say NO to any wrong government anytime.
As the Chinese writer says, ” the best time was 50 years ago, but another best time is now”
Though we see it late, still it’s not too late, not yet over, until it gets done!!
Therefore, this is the right time to call for the dismissal of Victor Atem Atem and install a new and capable government…..
“WE WILL NEVER REMAIN SILENT AGAIN.”
The author is a Juba University student and can be reached via: kuekdeng4@gmail.com

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