JUBA – South Sudan’s outgoing presidential press secretary Ateny Wek Ateny has issued a statement welcoming his dismissal from the office by President Salva Kiir Mayardit saying he will still remain a staunch support of the president.
The South Sudanese president in a decree read out on the state-own South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) on Friday dismissed Ateny who was appointed after criticizing the then presidential press team in November 2013.
He did not cite a reason for his removal and also did not immediately name a replacement.
In a statement, Ateny congratulated the president for relieving him and said the president’s decision is a normal procedure for the president.
“First of all, let congratulate you Mr. President for a job well-done to relieve me on my duties as the First ever Press Secretary in the Office of the President on Friday, August 5, 2022. I took your decision as normal, routine and prerogative of your Excellency,” he said.
“As I celebrated my appointment nine years ago, I earnestly did celebrate my relieve today, and any friend or a foe who called me to check whether I was taking the news normally, or otherwise, all might have been surprised by the level my jubilation,” he added.
“For me, I think have made history to which I and my family would be proud of. Given the demand of my job, and how managing a country on crises since its inception entails, I think President Kiir gave me more than honor a man can expect from another man.
“Being the first Press Secretary in the Office was a lifetime privilege and honor. I am now more exposed than of any other time in my life. So, if I was doing my job right or wrong, the fact that I had spent good 9 years in it, was an indication that I wasn’t there on mere coincidence. I had what it takes to have served the President and the country to which I will remain a loyal citizen.
“With being in government or not, I will still be loyal to President Kiir, my former colleagues and the government of National Unity and beyond. I subscribe to the notion of being a support of government having assignment or otherwise.
“Finally, I am grateful to the President again. I wish him and the government a very wonderful extended tenure.”