December 31, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudan government held on Thursday a public rally to honour the 28 state new governors appointed by president Salva Kiir, who skipped the event, despite initial arrangements in which he was anticipated to officially address.
The spokesperson for the presidency, Ateny Wek Ateny, however, the South Sudanese leader had delegated his deputy, James Wani Igga to speak on behalf of the government because the former was involved in other engagements of the nation.
What the president planned to talk about, Ateny added, would be delivered at a session to be organised by the ruling party (SPLM) secretariat as he sents out a new year message.
The deputy minister of education and head information at the SPLM secretariat, Bol Makueng, issued a statement on Wednesday calling on the public turn out at Dr. John Garang De Mabior Mausoleum in the capital, Juba on Thursday.
“The SPLM General Secretariat is organizing a ceremony in reception and honour of the twenty (28) state Governors who were appointed and sworn in on the 24th and 29th December 2015 respectively”, partly reads the statement circulated on Wednesday.
“The public is hereby welcome to celebrate with their governors”, it added, further explaining that the creation of the 28 states was in response to the public demand for taking services nearer to the people, development, local accountability and peace.
While speaking as chief guest at Thursday’s occasion, the vice president James Wani reminded the governors in the states under former Unity and Upper Nile states that they should prepare and show willingness to accept and vacate the positions, which are expected to be occupied by nominees from the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO).
The power sharing is in accordance with a provision in the peace agreement which the government and armed opposition led by the former vice president, Riek Machar and other stakeholders signed in august to end more than 21 months conflict in the country.
“If the SPLM-IO comes and we implement the peace and some of you who have been appointed are affected, we expect you to understand and accept the changes in the interest of peace and stability”, Igga told the gathering.