Blow for SPLM-IO as 310 members defect in Aweil

Blow for SPLM-IO as 310 members defect in Aweil

At least 310 members of the SPLM-IO have crossed over to the ruling SPLM party in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State.

In an interview with the City Review yesterday, the Press Secretary in the Office of the Governor of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State, Emmanuel Dhel Peter, said the new SPLM members would strengthen SPLM in preparation for the upcoming general elections.

He said most of the political parties within the state had shut down their offices due to massive defections to the ruling SPLM party. He boasted that within time, the SPLM/A-IO and other parties within the state might disappear.

“The huge number that the SPLM received was 310 members who resigned from SPLM-IO, Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. The SPLM Secretariat organised a welcoming ceremony yesterday. They are citizens of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State who were in the SPLM-IO, ” Dhel said.

“This one has shown that the SPLM in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State will always remain stronger. They say that they left SPLM-IO due to the poor political agenda in SPLM-IO and political objectives, ” he said.

Feeling disgruntled

He said what happened was not motivated by the directive of the First Vice President, Dr Riek Machar, to return the administration of Ajuet and Chimel to Aweil West County.

He stressed that the SPLM would win general elections because of the dwindling popularity of other parties.

In a statement released by the gubernatorial press unit, the new SPLM members said that they resigned from SPLM/A-IO because of the lack of political objectives in the party, a lack of equality, and a lack of mission and vision.

They pledged their loyalty to SPLM leadership in the state and the nation at large.

The group was welcomed through a ceremonial event organised by the SPLM State Secretariat under the auspices of State Governor Tong Akeen Ngor on  Tuesday.

The welcoming ceremony was also attended by the State SPLM Interim Secretary, Stephen Ayaga, and members of the Liberation Council, State SPLM Secretariat, State SPLM Youth League, State SPLM Women League, and senior SPLM members.

Governor Tong Akeen Ngor assured new SPLM members of political training about party basic documents, objectives, and principles.

He advised SPLM members to embrace unity and peaceful coexistence as they relate to one another in the party.

Tong urged members of the SPLM in the state to help in the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan.

 “Tong Akeen Ngor informed the members of the SPLM in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State to mobilise and recruit more members to the party to get prepared for the upcoming general elections, ” the statement continued.       

The state chairperson urged the members to maintain the spirit of unity, comradeship, and peaceful coexistence among themselves,” read the statement.

Denial of defiance

The office of the governor of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State earlier this month denied defying the directive of the First Vice President, Dr Riek Machar Teny.

On November 5, the office of the governor released a statement dismissing claims that the governor ordered the annexation of the Ajuet and Chimel communities.

They said the governor did not defy orders from the FVP but that it was a fabrication by “adversaries of peace and stability in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State in particular and South Sudan in general.”

“The office of the Governor of NBGS would kindly like to clarify to the general public that the government of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State is fully committed to the implementation of the Revitalised Peace Agreement. Hence, the Governor is so devoted to working for peace and stability in the state. “

“The general public should be informed that the office of the governor did not, up to the present moment, receive any official letter from the office of the First Vice President,” read the statement.

“The Governor didn’t and will never defy any constitutional and executive directives from the First Vice President, H.E. Dr Riek Machar Teny, as being alleged by different media outlets.”

The letter further denied the accusation of mobilising Ajuet Mawein Diing and Chimel Kuac communities to protest against the FVP directives.

Governor accused

Ayii Duang Ayii and Aweil West County leaders earlier called upon President Salva Kiir Mayardit to relieve Governor Tong Akeen Ngor.

The governor was accused of violating the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.

They also accused the governor of annexation and including Ajuet and Chimel payams into Aweil municipality. This was said to be against the Presidential Order on the formation of 10 states and 79 counties.

“SPLM leadership should withdraw the current governor and subsequently appoint a competent SPLM cadre to restore the lost unity for the people of greater Mading Aweil since the current governor remains a dividing factor in Aweil State,” Duang said.

FVP Directive

The First Vice President Dr Riek Machar dispatched a letter dated October 11, 2021, directing Governor Tong Akeen Ngor to return the administration of Ajuet and Chimel to Aweil West County.

“If there was any attempt in 2015 by Governor Joseph Mareng Akuei Ajok to annex Ajuet and Chimel to the town, this was not approved. The facts above show clearly that Ajuet and Chimel have always been part of Aweil West County, ” read the statement.

MORE FROM NATIONAL