JUBA (HAN) May 10.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. 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.
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.