February 10, 2014 (JUBA) - The governor of South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal State, Rizik Zachariah Hassan has fired his education minister, Moris Yel Akol.
- Rizik Zachariah Hassan, Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal State (File photo)
Akol, who previously served as finance minister and deputy governor, was reportedly sacked in a gubernatorial order issued Sunday.
Michael Madut Chan, according to the order, becomes the new education minister.
Governor Hassan, in separate order, relieved and moved Rita Andrea Tito from the labour, public service and human resources development ministry to the portfolio of an adviser for cooperatives. Also, Monica Sabino Madut, previously an adviser on cooperatives takes over Tito’s former ministry.
But while no official reason was given, an aide to the governor told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that the changes made were within the latter’s constitutional prerogatives.
“These are part of normal changes, which are within the constitutional prerogatives of the governor. Such changes are usually made to allow provision of services to our people by cadres who have demonstrated willingness and commitment to serve with diligent”, the aide said by phone from the state capital, Wau.
He did not, however, comment on claims by supporters of the ex-education minister that existing differences between the two officials may have caused these changes.
Akol may not have publicly expressed interest for the top job, but commands strong support among his followers who already see him as the next state governor.
Hassan has been governor since 2010, when his predecessor Mark Nyipuoc failed to secure the ruling party’s (SPLM) approval to become its official flag bearer. Nyipuoc is currently the deputy speaker of South Sudan’s national legislative assembly.
His political allies and supporters have already started campaigning for him to seek re-election, although he has not revealed whether he intends to stand or not.