After getting fired in a televised presidential decree in Juba a few days ago, South Sudan’s former minister of Petroleum Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth has reportedly fled to Khartoum aboard a secretly chartered plane, and announced his return to the mother SPLM-IO of Dr. Riek Machar.
On arrival at Khartoum International airport Gatkouth who looked restless and worried, told Saakam that he has come ‘home’ to apologize to Dr Riek Machar, whom he referred to as his ‘political godfather’ and the ‘solution to the Juba-problems’
‘’What happened in July 2016 in Juba, Crown Hotel was a mistake, and I am truly very sorry. I was misled by a fox who has now disowned me. I am coming to Khartoum to join SPLM-IO Proper [SPLM IOP] so that by being united we can re-focus our attention and expertise on those looting our oyol [oil] from Bentiu,’’ Gatkouth said.
Asked why he came back to Machar, he said ‘’ When you go East or West, home is the best. Machar brought me up politically, he’s my political godfather and I will never abandon Kowermadit,’’ the former oil minister said.
Ezekiel said he will not cooperate with the seven person committee appointed by President Salva Kiir to investigate oil contracts since the resumption of production in 2016. The Chairman of the committee, Martin Elia Lomuro, vowed to leave no stone unturned during the two week investigation into what is believed to be many lucrative dealings at the Ministry of Petroleum since Gatkouth came to office.
‘’Who is to investigate who? This is a mockery of the highest order” the former oil minister said rhetorically. “Why not investigate the master planner? I am just a turn boy not even the driver of an oil truck” he said.
Ambassador Gatkouth was fired recently while he was on a religious pilgrimage to Nigeria to meet the renowned evangelist TB Joshua popularly known for his divine powers and magical insight into everything South Sudanese.
‘’For us in the government, we are all used to protecting ourselves against impromptu presidential decrees. Prophet TB Joshua has all sorts of different divine anointments including one for cooling the heart of Kiir and another for soothing Machar to accept us back just in case Kiir fires anybody from IO” he explained.
Mr. Gatkouth’s firing and re-defection does not come as a surprise to many SPLM-IO and Prophet Ngundeng’s followers. A question Saakam has to ask, was Mr. Gatkouth’s fate prophesied? None of the many spokespersons, including Mabior Garang, were willing to comment on the matter.
More from Saakam as soon as we piece together more of this making peace story.