Letters Opinion

Opinion: An Open Letter to President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Remove Amb. Antipas Nyok from the position of Deputy Governor to deescalate the growing dispute in the SPLM party and Jonglei State government at large.

By Wany Bum Makhor (Gat Rami Kel),

Antipas Nyok Kucha, Deputy Governor posting for a picture with Chief and inflated governor on the microphone on May 16 SPLA Day(Photo credit: courtesy image)
Antipas Nyok Kucha, Deputy Governor posting for a picture with Chief and inflated governor on the microphone on May 16 SPLA Day(Photo credit: courtesy image)

June 13, 2021 – Your excellency, allow me to congratulate you for the selfless service you rendered to our great nation you had previously served as a foot soldier. Your past contributions and sacrifices along with your colleagues, majority of whom perished in the wilderness to free us from the vicious Khartoum based regimes, have paid off and shall never be overshadowed by present and future mistakes.

Since 1983 when you first left Twic-Mayardit, a historical place named after your grandpa for bush to fight against Arab marginalization up to the present moment, you never had leisure time with your family for you have put our country as your preference more than your family and personal pleasure. I and thousands of South Sudanese owed you a debt of gratitude through your unwavering support to our cause and that of millions of dead and living Southerners who sacrificed themselves for the same fortune, I’m now writing as a proud South Sudanese pledging full allegiance to the flag of a free and Independence State.

 Mr. President, congratulations once again for reverting the country to 10 states and putting forth some extra efforts, particularly in implementing critical provisions of the revitalized peace agreement. I do not doubt your commitment and that of your team to unify the national army under one leadership, reconstituting state assemblies and form County governments down to payams and Bomas. This Country was founded on the basis that an individual sacrifice accounts for the goodness of our sovereignty as your contribution is glued in the history of South Sudan.

Your excellency, the prime intention of this letter is to remove Amb. Antipas Nyok and appoint another SPLM Cadre as deputy Governor to help Governor Denay Jock Chagor to push Jonglei State forward. Amb. Nyok is a great man who had invested a great deal of his time in the SPLM and for that reason he should be re-assign to serve the people of South Sudan and the SPLM party in a different capacity, him serving both as the Chairman of the SPLM as well as Deputy Governor in Jonglei State overwhelmed him to the point that he is succumbing to destructive pressure under various political brokerage: he is brutalizing, threatening and intimidating SPLM Cadres to dance according to his tune in the affairs of the party in the state. His indecent behavior toward SPLM members has generated a wave of conflict that could have been contained within the SPLM but because Nyok was unable to lead SPLM and the people of Jonglei State the SPLM internal feud is slowly escalating to be Jonglei state’s crisis instead. 

Your Excellency, our Country was engulfed into a deadly civil war promptly after some of your impatience colleagues decided to prematurely challenged you before elections. No sooner after you had successfully dissuaded them politically, they opted to take SPLM party leadership from you corrosively. The risky behaviors demonstrated by some of your colleagues at the time plunged our country into five years’ conflict. It’s within this sad experience that reminded me that the SPLM crisis in Jonglei can easily be a source of conflict that could indiscriminately affect everybody if remedies are not employed on time. 

Your excellency, I’m calling for the removal of Antipas Nyok Kucha from the position of Deputy Governor of Jonglei State for his scaremongering, unruly, and problematic behaviors to the SPLM and people of Jonglei State for below reasons:

1. Misuse of power;

Amb. Nyok, upon appointing and after taking the oath of the office as deputy Governor of Jonglei State and the Chairman of the SPLM party. He began to ruled the SPLM members with an iron fist. Threatening, intimidating, issuing unwarranted arrest, and unlawful dismissal of some members from the SPLM ranks and files. This described his authoritative leadership in the party as a malignant and coercive in nature. Nyok lost touch with reality and engaged in vindictiveness with poor and powerless members of the SPLM. He misapply an enormous chances to settled chaos internally within the SPLM to ensure that it is not Jonglei State’s crisis. Nyok did not only fuel the problem by furthering his dictatorial tendency but also point figures at his peace partners and blaming everybody for having hands in the SPLM internal arrangements. He has been too serious absolutely for nothing. 

2. Acting against President’s directives and the revitalize peace agreement; 

The deputy Governor of Jonglei State Amb. Antipas Nyok has been acting in contrast to directives of the President and Revitalize accorded clauses aiding the Governors of 10 States and three Administrative areas as Chief executive at States and Administrative areas. Nyok decided to appeared larger than his Boss due to unknown incognizance. He would preside over functions that would have been blessed by the Governor without being delegated or authorized by his Boss citing that he is the Chairman of the Majority Party (SPLM). Nyok is so insubordinate and disrespectful to condone. He is intriguing to pamper himself with Governor Chagor in a turf fight over who shall take the credit of Juba-Bor –Renk Road. But Governor Chagor maturely and professionally ‘handled him under the table’ to make sure that the road construction is significant and not the person who shall take the credit. The credit shall go to where it due and this goes without saying that President Kiir and the People of South Sudan shall equally own the credit. Chagor made it explicit on 16th May in Bor Town.

3. Inciting of communities against each other; 

On several occasions, the Deputy Governor Amb. Nyok would flip-flop from national languages to Dinka language in national events. Nyok had tried to turn the best of the communities against each other for political reasons known to him. He would talk at length in Dinka inciting Dinka against Nuer by replicating atrocities committed in Bor in 1991 and 2013 by Nuer. Though there is nothing abnormal in speaking in local languages as a leader, he would have been restricted to English and local Arabic for the benefit of his audience who are none Dinka. Jonglei State currently is predominantly Nuer, Dinka, and Anuak with 9 Counties, 5 of which are owned by Nuer and 4 by Dinka. In this simple arithmetic, Nuers are the majority in Jonglei State thus should having come from majority ethnic group can warrant one to speak in mother tongue, Governor Chagor and other ministers drawn from Nuer community would have been eloquent in Thok-Naath on many occasions. 

4. Sabotaging government projects;

The Deputy Governor has been reportedly engaging in more destructive activities aim at frustrating government efforts. He was accused of hiring some group of young men to break the dyke. The overall intention was to send a signal that Governor Chagor has failed to manage the flood and key infrastructural projects. Dyke has been repeatedly broken by unknown criminals but Nyok has neither arrest nor talking with the host community to stop the inhuman act of people living in Bor rather uses the advantage of having come from the host community for unnecessary intimidations.

5. Insubordination and disrespect to the Governor;

In powers delegated to all Governors in a republican decree issued by President Kiir. The Governor of Jonglei Hon. Denay Jock Chagor acts within authorities and powers conferred upon him by the constitution and the President. What powers and constitution cited by the Deputy Governor of Jonglei State Amb. Nyok to appoint his tribal man as Director-general in the ministry of Cabinet Affairs as well as relieving Bor’s Town Mayor Dr. Agot Alier? this is a clear case of insubordination and disrespect not only to his Boss but also to the President and the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan. The repercussions for such actions are dire and one must exact the acts.

Your excellency, it’s worth mentioning that we are not only in an era of peace but in a critical transition period that should be builds upon cooperation, tolerance, and the rule of law, for there is no progress without compromises. Jonglei State is bleeding therefore your timely intervention is required now. Incidents characterized by road ambushes, child abduction, and cattle raiding are increasingly reported in different parts of Jonglei State. Bor-Gatdiang-Yuai road is impassible due to insecurity. This set of challenges are real in Jonglei State.

Your excellency, the people of Jonglei particularly, the youth whose voices and aspirations have been vividly represented by a man of their caliber, applauded and appreciated you for appointing Governor Chagor. Seeing a man of the same age thriving nationally and internationally rejuvenates their hope for a peaceful and prosperous South Sudan where an individual is not judged by how many years he or she spent in the bush but by his ability to render needful services to the people of South Sudan. The entire population is panicking that SPLM internal disagreement would hit them again, Am humbly requesting your wisdom Mr. President to heed to our clamoring call for the removal of Nyok from Deputy Governor position for a united and stable Jonglei State.

To address these challenges, your leadership is expected to provide leadership on the followings:

A) Relieve and appoint another strong and loyal member of SPLM to join forces with Governor Denay Chagor in serving the people of Jonglei State under the overall leadership of your excellency.  

B) Empower the Governor with extra-legal powers that will allow him to neutralized or relieve some ‘’old school politicians’’ used under the carpet by Nyok to fight his proxy battle against the Governor of Jonglei State.  

C) Induct or orientate the incoming Deputy Governor to tore a clear line of respect between him and his Boss. This is to avoid the recurrent risky behavior exhibited by the current Deputy Governor of Jonglei State. The role of the Governor, Deputy Governor, and Ministers must be clearly defined and spell out as some unprofessional ministers see the Governor as their equal on account that they were appointed by the same President.

I wish you all the best in ushering South Sudan into a stable everlasting peace in the region. 

The write is a youth activist based in Bor. He can be reached for comment via: wanybum12@gmail.com.

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