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Minister challenges citizens’ dependency on government

Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Onyoti Adigo, talking to journalists.

By Keji Janefer Silver

The Minister of Livestock and Fisheries criticized the citizens for what she described as ‘depending solely on the government’, and urged them to embrace self-reliance spirit, because the government is faced with numerous challenges, and is unable to provide for them all the services they need.    

Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec made the statement on Tuesday, at Jebel Lemon, while addressing farmers during the launching of ‘Eradicating Peste Des Petits Ruminants (PPR) in South Sudan’. He emphasized the importance of the spirit of self-reliance by the communities, to boost development. To achieve that, the Minister called on South Sudanese to unite and work for peace, by talking about what does not divide people.

“When there is peace, we really need to focus on self-reliance, we can build schools, dispensaries and police stations, and then we can go to government and tell the government that we have infrastructure in place, and so we need teachers, health workers and police to work in those facilities,” Onyoti appealed.

Adigo said that the government lacked enough funding to deliver services to its citizens, and encouraged them not to turn their eyes to the government by solely depending on it, because they themselves were government. He pointed out that in 1970s-1980s, South Sudanese used to be very active on self-reliance projects.

Onyoti advised citizens to stop blaming government, and urged chiefs to organize their communities to set-up infrastructure through contributions in any way.

“Now what can prevent you from building a school if you have animals? Organize your people to contribute sheep and goats, one each, so you build a school here,” Onyoti said.

His remarks came after the area, Chief Peter Ayuwen, raised a number of challenges, including insecurity, lack of infrastructure such as school, hospital, among others. He requested the government to consider the challenges that face his community.  

However, the Minister also criticized the chief for presenting the challenges they faced in the area to the governor of Jonglei state, instead of reporting it to the leadership of Central Equatoria State government, since the government of central Equatoria is responsible for the affairs of all citizens who stays in its state. He warned that such behavior creates problem among indigenous of the state and those coming from other states.

“You are supposed to report to the government of Central Equatoria for anything you need the government to deliver to you because you are part of the citizens of this state not to the governor of Jonglei unless you want to go back to Jonglei” Onyoti stressed.

He advised the chief to mobilize his people and tell them to respect the laws and follow the way people in Central Equatoria leaves to minimize differences. He insisted that the chief should work hand in hand with the chiefs in the state to avoid people from Central Equatoria saying they want to grab their land.

“You as a chief in this area, you should report to the governor of Central Equatoria and tell him you don’t have school, hospital and security but if you to Jonglei state governor, that is why people here said you are not part of them so you the ones looking for problem for yourselves because when you are here, you need to respect the laws and copy the life style of the people in this state. Looking for problem is not good, stay as a good citizen with respect where ever you stay,” He emphasized.

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