Residents urge leaders to reduce speed and bodyguards
By Daniel Friday Martin
YEI – Residents have asked the authorities and government officials to reduce on over-speeding and excessive security guards while using the road.
According to Grace Kadayi, a resident of Yei, over-speeding on the road by government officials is only going at causing fear, dust and terror.
“This high speed on the road is actually scaring many of us the ordinary citizens. You find that when the mayor or the commissioner is being driven, they tend to go on high speed, leaving our bad roads covered with dust and [above all] if someone is using the road they end up getting dirty. This is worsened by the issue of unexpected accidents,” she expressed.
Wondering why people’s leaders are always in rush and on security alert, Kadayi called on Yei leaders to use moderate speed so that common men can also see them.
“These are your people; why do you need to stay away from them? Be simple and associate with your citizens so that they have trust and support for you!”
Meanwhile, Modi Taban, another resident, described as ‘unbecoming’ the issue of government officials moving with many security guards who are often intimidating to other road users.
“Yes, we all know very well that you are our leaders but the question is why are you always moving with many escorts? These are your people; don’t get afraid that they will harm you,” he asserted.
Mr. Taban also observed that with the presence of many security personnel with unfriendly faces at the gates and offices of municipal and local government officials it is hard to approach the commissioner and the mayor.
“When you came to offices you said you will work with all of us the common men, because development requires collective responsibility of the government and citizens. But without this we cannot move forward.
So what we need from you, our leaders, is that let there be no too much restriction when we need to see you,” Mr. Taban advised.
Officials admit flaws, say corrective measures needed
When asked to comment on this deteriorating relationship with citizens, Yei County Commissioner Bidali Cosmas apologized for all that had happened, saying they will carry out corrective measures to address the issues immediately.
“We have heard what our citizens have said; we shall direct our drivers to reduce on their speed and also be ready to move with few security guards. I personally feel that it’s not good to move on high speed but sometimes we are on hurry to attend meetings and address other unexpected issues,” Bidali clarified.
However, the official said it is a constitutional mandate for any political appointee to have some security personnel, technically expressing it as ‘a system designed by the government and it’s hard to break it’.
As well, Mayor Santo Paul Lasuba welcomed the public urge and expressed readiness to reduce on the speed.
“Indeed your request is correct but also in a community like this you may have one or two people who have a wrong ideology; that is why we move with the security, not for security reason but it’s just a mandate from the constitution.
This is a public office and it’s for all of you, so feel free to visit us at any working hours so that we all collectively work hard and make Yei a better place for all of us,” the mayor said, downplaying the claim that security personnel disconnect the masses and leaders.
He called on the public to feel free and visit their offices when necessary.
The statements were made at Yei Resource Centre during the commemoration of the international democracy day under the theme “Engaging the Youths in Democracy and Participation in Development”.