The government of Western Equatoria State has fallen apart after some officials including the deputy governor announced they were pulling out from active participation in the state affairs on Saturday.
The defiant group made the decision in response to Governor Alfred Futuyo’s alleged suspension of the council of ministers meetings indefinitely.
On October 8, Deputy Governor Kennedy Gaaniko, who headed the group appeared in a video footage flanked by some purported members of SPLM-IG, SSOA, OPP, and FDs.
He read out a press statement articulating 16 points justifying their reason of withdrawal.
“We the members of the ITGoNU, SSOA, OPP, FDs, SPLM-IO in the executive, State parliament, independent commission and county commissioners do hereby declare to the public our decision to withdraw our active participation from the Western Equatoria State government,’ Gaaniko read out the press release.
According to Gaaniko, the decision to pull out from the state government affairs, followed the governor’s boycott of last week’s council of ministers sitting.
He accused Governor Futuyo of mismanagement of the state affairs.
It is also alleged in the statement that the state parliamentarians have gone without salaries for five months, and that civil servants in the now-defunct states have not been integrated into the state government, since 2020.
“The governor does not follow the established system to administer state affairs. Deduction of civil servants, executive, members of the assembly, and county government salary/emolument by thirty percent for the month of July 2022,” said Gaaniko who hails from the SPLM party.
But Finance Minister Andrian Baiki, who is also a senior member of SPLM-IO, rubbished the allegations, and described the authors of the statement as individuals with personal interests.
“The SPLM-IO while championing peace in the state, the Honorable Kennedy Ganniko, the Right Honorable Speaker of the August House are taking different illegal directions to return the people of Western Equatoria to war,” said Daniel.
“We, therefore, continue calling on the people in the Western Equatoria State to distance themselves from individuals who want to use their party to return the country to war for their personal interest.”
In a separate statement, Governor Alfred Futuyo admitted the deepening crisis in his coalition government and appealed to national government to intervene.
“I am appealing to the national government to intervene into this matter before it gets out of hand,” said Futuyo.
“I condemn the so-called withdrawal of state members of executive, assembly, Independent commissions and county commissioners in strongest term possible. This is a generalized statement which is not a will of other officials mentioned,” the governor added.
The opposition coalition – South Sudan Opposition Alliance have also issued a statement distancing themselves from the alleged withdrawal agitated by Gaaniko’s group.
“Reference to the press release dated 8 of October, leaders of SSOA in Western Equatoria State would like to distance themselves and make it clear that SSOA was neither invited nor consulted in any meeting resolving to issue the press release,” said the statement.
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