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President Kiir declines meeting Gogrial state governor


May 9, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has turned down a request by Abraham Gum, governor of the newly created Gogrial state, sparking speculations and rumours that the rejection signalled dissatisfaction with performance of the governor who hails from the president’s home state.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (AP)

A presidential source told Sudan Tribune that the rejection was based on inappropriate channels through which the governor followed in an attempt to meet the president.

“Somebody cannot just show up and claim he or she wants to meet the president. There is a state protocol and everything, even if it is something related to the public matters, something to do with the government, has to indicate that through administrative channel,” he said.

The official said there it is the work of protocol department in the office of the president and officials in charge with such arrangements have to know the purpose of the visit, including the period it will take and why it is necessary.

“This is done in any country, regardless of the status of the person requesting the meeting with the president because he is the head of state with a lot of things to do in every single minute he spends in the office,” further explained the official in the attempt to justify the reasons for which the governor was turned away.

State officials claimed the governor was on an official visit to the national capital, Juba, where he had hoped to meet with the leadership of the country, including the president for general briefing on activities being undertaken by his administration and how he handled them.

The president, according to presidential aides, normally listens to the briefings from the state officials, including the governor after which he provides advisory notes consistent with guidelines matching general policies.

As an observed practice, the president would then update the officials in the event of new developments and changes he intends to make.

If the president refuses or declines to meet the visiting officials, it serves as indication of having developed different opinion about performance of a particular official and would normally lead to dismissal from office.

The context of declining to meet the governor was not clear. The purpose of the meeting for which the governor sought to meet the president also remains unclear. Neither the office of the president nor the office of the governor was able to make public a comment to explain what transpired.

Other sources attributed the cause to personally strained relationship between the family of the president and governor Gum, whom some politicians in the state claimed was appointed by mistake.

He was not the choice of the people of the state at the time he was made to succeed his predecessor, Akec Tong Aleu, after the president divided the country into 28 states and Akec became the governor of Tonj state.

Politicians with good working relationship with the family of the president claimed Akec was appointed on the recommendation of the family with the hope he would subsequently appoint their picks, who would in turn give way for one of the family members to succeed him in gubernatorial position.


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 10 May 2016 14:26, by Nyesi Ta

    Now Kiir Al Awiir wants to claim officials should follow channels to meet the head of state when for almost a decade the president had been meeting Jenge thru the back door and distributing public resources to them as if it is his own wealth making the so called J1 look like Muraah. The governor is nt doing what Kiir wants him to do that’s why he declined to meet him. Period!

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  • 10 May 2016 14:27, by Mr Point

    Perhaps the governor was incorrectly dressed according to Kiir’s new protocol?
    Who knows?

    Perhaps Kiir has changed his mind on the 28 state project?
    Who knows?

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  • 10 May 2016 14:38, by Yei Top

    Abraham Gum is behind the news about the untimely dead of the proposed 28 states in silence. His intention was to praise Kiir to survive among the imposed 28 so-called governors. My brother Abram Gum, u better get back to Kuajok and enjoy ur wal-wal and suruba under the big tree than to follow Kiir in the name of Gogrial state..... Gogrial is back to it’s former name (Gogrial west county)

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