Governor Philip Aguer Panyang (Photo by Gurtong)

A Stressful Start for the Governor: Scholars Are the Nightmare of Jonglei

by Deng Kur Deng

Governor Philip Aguer Panyang  (Photo by Gurtong)
Governor Philip Aguer Panyang (Photo by Gurtong)

It is obvious that we the people of Jonglei were elated after Governor Aguer Panyang was appointed. While touring village after village throughout Jonglei, the Governor was welcomed with happiness, in the hope that he would address outstanding state issues.
Among those people who celebrated the Governor’s nomination are those living below the poverty line and those who reside in the diaspora. But regardless of their individual situations, these people have all come together on certain key issues. We have seen countless videos and pictures that illustrate that our people are very determined to find peace, protection, better schools, improved health facilities, and prosperity for all citizens of Jonglei. During his post-election travels, Governor Aguer Panyang witnessed firsthand the deteriorating roads, lack of infrastructure, poorly tended health facilities­—including those facilities that were destroyed during conflicts—and other problems in Jonglei. People shared their views and the Governor listened attentively to them.
We all knew the Governor from his previous job, and we knew him to be a man of substance in his decision-making. But now that his actions are on a bigger stage, people are trying to silence him. The so-called “scholars” are trying to overshadow his leadership style and diminish his effectiveness as a decision-maker. Well, I can honestly say, to those of you who have resorted to this strategy, you are wrong. We all know the Governor’s effectiveness cannot be reduced, simply because you choose to disrupt his momentum and belittle his efforts.
To allow Jonglei to recover from security threats and food supply concerns, you must stop opposing his progress and allow the leader to make important decisions. Everyone’s number one concern is security; people are collectively calling for leadership to effectively address security issues, which is something Aguer knew before accepting the governorship. His main messages focused on delivering services to the people who were uprooted by two security issues—the Murle and Nuer. These two groups have left communities shattered and devastated by the conflicts they fuel. It is up to Governor Aguer Panygan to help the people affected by these groups.
Without a large enough budget to consolidate the losses that Jonglei has sustained, the Governor has started to stumble. But some communities are unnecessarily complicating this process by demanding to have their problems resolved independently. The Governor now has less time and energy to respond to the issues raised because there are so many issues to tackle. The biggest impediment to solving problems is the group of people who constantly whine without proposing any solid and practical solutions. Moreover, this group of scholars is so vocal, they are persuading the people who are skeptical to dig in their heels. Thus, the Governor’s strategies are being diminished presumptuously.
So now we must ask, what is the way forward? We know that the Governor has inspiring messages for people who have lost hope in the face of deteriorating state security. But even so, it is difficult for our Governor to get things done because there are those people who constantly complain about his decisions and resist progress. Still, the majority of people in Jonglei have highly endorsed his appointment.
Like these people, I also endorsed the Governor’s appointment and I would like to support any of his steps and decisions moving forward. But for the last couple weeks, there has been unnecessary noise and demands coming from various communities. Some of our people are demanding impossible results that cannot be achieved unless they actually give him the room to make appropriate decisions on issues that really matter.
Lately, I have also realized that our people don’t understand the concept of time. The Governor needs some time to actually start his work, and these scholars in particular need to close their mouths for a second and give our leader just a moment of peace to adjust.  No one believes that the Governor employed fowl play to get in office, and anyone giving credence to that inflated rumor is simply being ridiculous. The Governor has a very powerful understanding of the social issues that have overwhelmed the state, so let him think through his next steps. He has employed a very thoughtful beginning to his tenure as Governor in order to transform the state for the common good of the people. Yet still, there some who continue to agitate our progress and nag at the Governor’s benevolence. His recent tour embodied his good intentions, and we can only hope that he uses those good intentions to build a foundation for his legacy in office. The Governor just started his job, but some of our people have not given him a first chance, let alone a second. For all our sakes’, they must allow our leader to work in peace.

This article was written by Deng Kur Deng, AKA, Raanmangar. You can reach him at:

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