David Yau Yau has described a move by some members of his community to have him removed as governor of Buma State as a “desperate effort by the disgruntles.”
He is fighting back against those who went to the press yesterday labelling him as incapable of governing Buma.
David Yau Yau was first appointed the Chief Administrator of Greater Pibor Area 5 years ago as part of a deal he signed with the government. He took charge of seven counties that were created by a separate presidential decree to constitute the Greater Pibor Administrative Area, which is autonomous from Jonglei State.
He was later replaced by Baba Medan, and appointed as Deputy Minister of Defense. Mr. Medan was shortly removed and replaced by renown elder, Ismael Konyi who served briefly before Yau Yau was reappointed to the same position by the President.
Since taking over, Yau Yau pledged to work with the neighboring state -especially Jonglei state to stop cattle rustling and return abducted children. He -on several occasions recovered children belonging to Jonglei and neighboring Jubek and Torit states.
But the group led by a member of parliament representing Pibor in the National Parliament said they have written to the President calling for the dismissal of David Yau Yau, accusing him of the disappearance of some civilians, killings, and failure to address inter-clan conflicts among the indigenous people of Buma.
However, Yau Yau rubbished the claims, saying those who are spearheading the move are “using the name of the community to advance their own objectives.:
“Some of them are disgruntled because they lost their positions in a recent reshuffle [I] carried out in the state,” Yau Yau told Eye Radio.
“You know Buma state comprises of 4 communities; Anyuak, Murle, Jie and Kacipo, and those whose signatures appear there are just 2 MPs from the national government – even some of them don’t have a connection with the communities there on the ground,” he added.
Yau Yau further said that his government is doing its best to stabilize Buma state and rebuild its relationships with neighboring states, such as Jonglei, and the nearby communities.
A few months ago, much of inter-state fighting has been waged between the youth of Buma and Jonglei, forcing the two governors, David Yau Yau, and Philip Aguer to work jointly to attempt to address the underlying root causes of the circle of violence.
Yau Yau believes that is subsiding as a result of his effort to address the youth directly.
“You hardly hear that there’s ongoing abduction, raiding, killings [like before]. This did not just come as an evolution, it is through serious effort from the government of Buma State. We do not sit in the offices, we in most cases go to the cattle camps, and spend 1 -2 months there speaking to youth to abolish all these negative activities,” he said.
In January, at the request of the two governors, UNMISS contingent of Korea completed maintenance works on the Mangella-Bor-Pibor road and opened it to the public.
“This road will bring together cattle traders from Pibor to Anyidi and Manyabol. And as a result, now you can see a good sign of peace happening between Jonglei state and Buma State”,” David Yau Yau said.
Yau Yau urged the national government, NGOs, and wellwishers to provide training and entrepreneurial opportunities to the youth of the area, “so that they move away from the negative activities they are involved in.”
Procedure for removing a governor
According to the constitution, those with a case against the governor are required to first report the matter to the Council of States, which among other responsibilities, is in charge of legislating the promotion of a culture of peace, reconciliation and communal harmony among all the people of the states.
The Council of State is then expected to summon governor David Yau Yau to answer concerns regarding effective implementation of the decentralized system and devolution of powers and any other issues related to the Buma state.
The President is only mandated by the constitution to remove a state Governor and/or dissolve a state legislative assembly in the event of a crisis in the state that threatens national security and territorial integrity.
However, civil society groups say this exercise of power has been abused severally by the office of the President, which has occasionally removed and replaced elected and appointed governors at the advice of community members.
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