News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

Lawmakers brawl with governor over allowance

By Bida Elly David/ Hou Akot


Internal disagreement ensued in Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal State Assembly after some lawmakers petitioned the state governor over allowance.

In a statement extended to No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, NBG state assembly spokesperson, Garang Kuol Mabior said some lawmakers accuse governor Tong Aken Ngor of withholding their parliamentary privileges and allowances.

He said that the lawmakers had written a petition to the Council of States.

The letter, which provoked disagreement between MPs and leadership of the state assembly, steamed from claims of unpaid recess, medical, and transport allowances.

In response Garang described the petition to the speaker of Council of States, as unproductive, saying it is not in line with the conduct of business.

“This is because the amended conduct of business for 2022-2024 is not yet assented by the speaker due to errors discovered by the speaker when it was submitted by the concerned committee before the August House,’’ he said.

Assembly spokespersons dismissed the petition against the governor, calling it unconstitutional and unlawful.

In his argument on the content structure, Garang underscored that the petition does not contain the address of the addressee or any signature to look official.

Concerning the claims on the privileges and allowances, Garang disregarded them, saying they would only work if the regulation was approved.

“Regulation 151, which talks of recess allowance, is the recently amended regulation, and it is not assented to,’’ he further explained.

Mr. Garang slammed the lawmakers against the demand for medical allowance, saying the fees are only paid for lawmakers who table their sick report before the house leadership and are truly not feeling well.

“Treatment allowance is entitled to only members who are sick and should present or submit their referral documents to the administration for further calculation to go for treatment,’’ he stressed.

According to the spokesperson, the petition contains the names of some personalities who are not honorable members of the state assembly, citing Ayong Maduok in the list.

On the same note, Mr. Garang said the lawmakers, in their petition, lied about exerting efforts to make legislation, which he termed greatly false.

He claimed that passing acts requires numerous processes through the council of ministers, the august house, and concerned committees for scrutiny, dismissing the claim as baseless.

Garang called on the speaker of the Council of States to disregard the petition written against the governor, saying it was written without the consent of the NBGs transitional assembly.

“For the few facts that I have narrated, those MPs made a mistake by signing the name on behalf of others who were sick in the petition, and they are not active. Honorable Members should focus on issues that are facing the public, not their own interests,’’ he concluded.

Last year, teachers in NBGS rejected receiving their monthly salaries after the state government decided to pay them fractional wages, contrary to what was approved earlier.

The teachers were expecting the payment of salaries with the newly approved increment, but it never materialized.

Meanwhile, Zecharia Garang Lual, the Northern Bahr el Ghazal State Information Minister also clarified the appropriate channels for resolving the disgruntle MPs issue.

“The lawmakers should have consulted the state’s Minister of Finance instead of petitioning the Governor directly. Petitioning is not the most effective method. They could have first sought guidance from the Finance Minister on how best to obtain their allowances.” Minister Lual stated.

He emphasized that the Governor doesn’t manage financial records.

“The Finance Minister understands the proper procedures,” Lual explained. “Even as Information Minister, if I have a complaint, I address it within the executive branch. That’s why I’m advising them on the best strategies to secure their entitlements.”

Several of the dissatisfied lawmakers have threatened legal action due to the delayed payments.

The situation remains unresolved, with calls for the Governor’s impeachment emerging from some quarters.


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