Francis Aguek Madut the newly Appointed Commissioner of Luanyjang East County, Tonj State (photo by Moses Gum):
By Moses Gum
A vocal disabled activist has been appointed as a commissioner in Tonj State over the weekend.
Francis Aguek Madut, the Executive Director of National Disabled Organization was appointed by Tonj State Governor Anthony Bol Madut as the Commissioner of Luanyjang East County.
He was appointed through gubernatorial degree on November 23.
In an exclusive interview with the Juba Monitor yesterday, Aguek said his appointment was “a step in considering persons with disabilities in government institutions.”
“My appointment indicated that people with disabilities are now represented in Tonj State. I want to see similar appointment made in other states in the country to fulfill our demands of inclusion in public sector,” he demanded.
Throughout the process of the High Level Revitalization Forum, Francis Aguek and a group of people living with disabilities in South Sudan raised concerns that they were being neglected by the government.
Aguek also said that they were barred from accessing government offices; a claim they said had lowered their dignity.
“There is no doubt that disables are neglected. If they are not neglected then government should consider them by including them in decision making and other public sectors,” Aguek earlier claimed.
Aguek acknowledged the contributions of some people living with disabilities to the liberation of South Sudan, saying their demands needed to be met without discrimination.
“Many of us have been struggling to get a better life, but accessing basic necessities like food and water has been difficult and this has been worsened by physical limitations,” he said.
He encouraged other people with disabilities to continue with the struggle to achieve their dreams.
“Despite challenges, I am still encouraging my colleagues to continue fighting for their rights. The aim is to reach our objective of being considered in our communities,” he said.
Asked how he would be dealing with criminals in his county given that he is physically disabled, Mr. Aguek said what matters is administration in ensuring that law and order is maintained and holding culprits to book.
“I am now disabled and had been appointed as commissioner. Some people may think that I cannot do anything. Let me tell them that my words are more powerful than those with legs,” he said.
Aguek continued that despite being disabled he can do his best to ensure that crimes related to cattle theft and others are brought under control to ensure stability exist in the County.
He thanked Tonj State Governor for having considered people with disabilities in his government.
“I am giving thanks to my Governor Bol Madut for appointing me to serve my people. This has indicated that persons with disabilities are represented in Tonj. I also thanked President Kiir for appointing Bol to head Tonj,” the jubilant Aguek said.