President Salva Kiir has asked the leader of the SPLM-IO not to impose Johnson Olony as the only choice the party has as governor of Upper Nile State.

The President insists he will not appoint Olony governor of the oil-rich state.

He advised Dr. Riek Machar, who is also the First Vice President, against dictating the option for governor of Upper Nile state.

Earlier, the SPLM-IO said it submitted the name of Johnson Olony as its preferred candidate for the gubernatorial post.

But the President declined to appoint him.

His office described Olony as an active soldier who has not fully subjected himself to the political development in Juba, and is not “within territories that are controlled by SPLM-IO or by the government.”

But Dr. Riek Machar’s office dismissed the assertion, saying that Olony is “a general in the SPLA-IO which is a recognized army”.

Since then, Kiir has appointed and witnessed swearing-in of all the nine governors and three chief administrators, but the governor for Upper Nile.

Speaking during the swear-in ceremony of the newly appointed governor for Jonglei, and two national Ministers, President Kiir asserted that he won’t appoint Olony on safety and security grounds.

“If it is somebody who will cause fighting or conflict, like in Upper Nile, I say ‘no’, because it will be on my neck later in the day,” Kiir said at the ceremony.

“This is something I want to leave with comrade Riek to go and think over it, and nominate another person of his chose.”

According to the revitalized peace agreement, the appointment of constitutional and judicial office holders including state governors is one of the powers exercised by the President but in consultation with the First Vice President, and the four Vice Presidents.

The new peace deal also stipulates that decision making in the Presidency shall be in a spirit of collegial collaboration.

The constitution and the agreement also demand that the President preserve the security of South Sudan and protect its territorial integrity.