At least fifty-four Executive Chiefs have been laid off by the State Ministry of Local Government in Northern Bahr El Ghazal.
They are among individuals appointed during the establishment of the defunct 32 states.
According to the State Minister of Local Government, the population under their respective areas no longer qualify for executive chieftaincy. These areas are Aweil South, Aweil West and Aweil East.
Deng Lial Bak stated that in the local government act, to be a chief, one must have at least five hundred people in the area he/she controls. He added that a committee comprising of six members has been formed to study the legality of the remaining chiefs across the state.
Mr. Lial further advised against the random appointment of chiefs – contrary to the law.
‘’Documents will be sent to Council of the Ministers and the legislature for approval, but when chiefs do it illegally with administrators, we don’t see it as the right thing…Let us comply with what Local Government Act tells us.”
In reaction, some chiefs said their dismissal caught them by surprise.
“The same government appointed us as Executive Chiefs and again it said it is illegal. I would like the Ministry of Local government to hold a meeting before removing us from the system,’’ said Deng Odok.
Melek Autiak who was the Executive Chief in Nyamlel, Aweil West County told Akol Yam that the committee approached him with just a single question before being dismissed.
“We received the committee last week at Nyamlel, and they only asked about the date of appointment without any more question.’’
He said they were told to direct – in writing – any concern to the State Ministry of Local Government.
Meantime, Deng Odok urged those dismissed from their positions to “be patient and wait for what the government wants to do in the end, and we will follow the right procedures.”