By Dr. James Okuk, PhD
"Nationalist sentiments must remain powerful, but it can no longer be sustained by slogans and excitement of independence. There is a need to realize that the second stage of nation-building is perhaps more challenging than the first one of achieving self-determination" – Tom Mboya
June 5, 2012 (SSNA) — Since border wars in Panthou (the so-called Heglig) seems to be seen as over by Mr. Isaiah Abraham and other haters of SPLM-DC, it may be another time to turn our fingers at each other in order to point out hard and bitter facts about the situation in South Sudan under SPLM rule. It could be observed that these troublemakers are obsessed with hangovers of liberation nostalgia. They are so deaf to hear it that when the people lose trust in their government nothing can salvage the situation except "change".
If evaluated keenly and analytically, the nascent Republic of South Sudan is almost becoming a country of complainers, right from top to the bottom, and you would wonder who is going to be the listener. The President is complaining, the Ministers are complaining, the Lawmakers are complaining and every citizen is almost complaining. Are we really the best possible human beings created by the Almighty God?
As the SPLM-DC enters into its fourth anniversary since its formation on 6th June 2009, I would like to urge those who have been busy in order to destroy this second largest political party in South Sudan to re-examine their bad political culture and repent from their evildoings. One of the grand witches who has really tried his very best to bury alive the SPLM-DC is an acolyte of Ngundeng’s Cardinal, Mr. Isaiah Abraham, who writes some pompous articles while in hiding in Juba.
In his recent article titled "Why SPLM-DC must be banned?" published in some media outlets, this reckless man reminded me of a statement of the Governor of Central Bank of the Republic of South Sudan who thought of the national treasury and hard currency reserves as a Dinka property when he said "according to Dinka culture you don’t reveal the number of all your cows." This was his innocent Dinkocratic answer to an international journalist who asked him about how much his government has in reserves after the big but suicidal decision of shut-down of oil operations and business in South Sudan.
In similar manner, Mr. Isaiah Abraham projected innocently (if not intentionally) a tribalized perception that it is Dinka and Nuer tribes who bought South Sudan with their blood and flesh and who should have authority to grant the SPLM-DC benefits of freedoms of expression and assembly as part of promotion of political pluralism. What a constitutional ignorance and demise!
Nevertheless, nobody/party is supposed to be a trader who sells out the established constitutional bill of rights and civil liberties to the people of South Sudan unless Mr. Isaiah Abraham wants to affirm that the so-called SPLM liberators are above everything, and SPLM-DC members are not part of the esteemed people of the new country. Not only this but also the SPLM hidden propagandist proceeded to re-enforce his lies and illusions that the Chairman of SPLM-DC was defeated by Dinkocrats and their allies the Ngundengcrats in 2010 elections of the Republic of the Sudan and left with nothing but only four candidates in his Shilluk State of Upper Nile to win the highly fraudulent elections.
However, the known fact being denied by Mr. Isaiah Abraham and his likes is that the GoSS presidential candidate, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, was never defeated but rigged out in the elections, after a suspected secret deal between the SPLM and the NCP top leaders in collaboration with the National Elections Commission led by former Justice Abel Alier. The Carter Centre and many other elections observers have credible reports on these anomalies. Even the former finance Minister, Mr. David Deng Athorbei, admitted in South Sudan Parliament that had it not been for a lot of money he poured out in support of SPLM candidates the story would have been different as "Dr." Salva Kiir would have fallen on Dr. Riek Machar as he projected in his campaign statements.
Even the court case of SPLM big fishes proved it beyond any reasonable doubt that an amount of U.S.$ 30 million from GoSS treasury was transferred to the bank account of SPLM party and not into personal account of its Secretary-General. Who doesn’t know these recent historical facts of misuse of public monies by one political party.
Also the total number of SPLM-DC candidates who were left by the Juba regime to pass elections were six (and one of who is a lady), not four. They were exempted in order to cover the eyes of the world and avoid embarrassment of the making of SPLM one-party state. This could be seen as the sole reason the SPLM granted SPLM-DC members of parliament the status of opposition (called minority) leadership but only for the interest of the SPLM leaders to endorse their pretensions that South Sudan is a genuine multi-party democratic state.
Instead of whining and ranting about the SPLM-DC and its Chairman and moving devilishly to ban them from enjoyment of established constitutional rights, it would be wise that Mr. Isaiah Abraham learns to accommodate the inviolable fact that this party is born to stay and live longer in order to rescue South Sudan from SPLM leaders’ messes of masses and change it for better. Frantz Fanon has said it rightly long ago that "each generation must out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it".
With what we have witnessed since the coming of SPLM from the rebellious bushes of South Sudan to civilized towns, is there a doubt that its leaders and some of its blind supporters have already betrayed their mission of the liberation struggle? Have the SPLM leaders fulfilled what was enshrined in their manifesto and other founding documents which could be summarized as follows:
1) Maintaining peace among the people and with their neighbours;
2) Developing institutional and physical infrastructure;
3) Ensuring better governance and facilitatory leadership;
4) Regenerating the innovative and productive assets of Southern Sudanese for the service of their Motherland;
5) Prioritizing agricultural production as the renewable engine of economic growth with the help of petroleum income; and
6) Eradicating poverty, especially in rural areas and urban slums where majority of population live.
Because of this betrayer the new republic is facing a lot of challenges of state and nation building today where there are tendencies from SPLM leaders to fulfill what the Nobel Peace Price-Winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, said: “the national culture can become a bizarre graft of carefully selected historical incidents and distorted social values intended to justify the policies and actions of those in power.”
Of course, the SPLM autocrats and oligarchs in Juba have centered power and authority in the hands of a single but weak top leader surrounded by few sharks who tend to desire nothing but blind obedience and compliance from the citizens. And for sure, the lack of good SPLM leadership has landed South Sudan into multifaceted troubles with payment of expensive prices for emotional and ignorant decisions on crucial public affairs. The whole world had already shaken its head in disgust and thrown up its hands in despair about the unfortunate situation that the SPLM bush leaders and cowboys have subjected the people of the new country into even before completing a full year after the declared joyful independence.
As a result of this gap most South Sudanese have lost the stamina that drove the struggle for their reclaim of human dignity and freedom from different harms. Thus, it could be felt that it is high time for the SPLM and its satellite political parties to change the old ways of doing things and come into terms with realities of South Sudan that are different from things of the state of rebellions in the bushes. Otherwise, the wind of change is going to catch up with them sooner than later
The SPLM-DC and its chairman together with other political parties have already made their intentions and actions clear and vivid in this new tough journey of democracy whose success depends largely on infrastructural (i.e., material advantage based on economy), techostructural (i.e., institutions with openness, simplicity and clarity of procedures) and superstructural (i.e., human relations based on ethical values, beliefs and attitudes) ingredients of the process, which are nurtured by the spirit liberalism and with "Principles of Justices as Fairness" that say:
1. Each citizen is guaranteed a fully adequate scheme of basic liberties, which is compatible with the same scheme of liberties for all others.
2. Social and economic inequalities are to satisfy two conditions: First, they are to be attached to positions and offices open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity; and Second, they are to be to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged members of society.
With the perpetual failures of the so-called SPLM liberators, the Republic of South Sudan is left with no good option bur search for a brighter guiding star to the future, built on cemented national foundation and protected well from internal or external harms. This futuristic visionary leadership should embark on the quest for genuine national healing process, and building of trust and confidence through continuous dialogue for preserving the dignity of human person in individuals, families and communities of South Sudan. The new leadership shall ensure that the new Republic is firmly hinged on:
1) Citizenship without Discrimination;
2) Use of Public Resources for Promotion of the Common Good;
3) Social Values of Labour, Employment and Free Enterprise;
4) Eradication of Poverty, Diseases and Illiteracy;
5) Political Pluralism and Fair Gender Participation;
6) Peaceful Settlement of Disputes;
7) Reconciliation based on Truth and Repentance;
8) Good Neighborhood Policy with Concrete Actions;
9) Preservation of Nature and Environment; and
10) Research and Development for Better Decisions.
Most significantly, credible plans should be made and serious actions taken on revitalization and improvement of the old transport systems and infrastructure along side other initiatives:
1) Revitalizing old economic river transport routes and ports, and opening new ones to be accessible by motor boats and steamers or barges even on loans. Here the role of GoSS may be confined to regulation and technical management of the navigation routs so that the private sector can use them efficiently through out the seasons;
3) Repairing the old Railway infrastructure and constructing new ones in addition to asphalted high ways that should connect South Sudan within itself and with the neighboring countries for promotion of socio-economic and commercial activities, amongst others;
4) Establishing hydro-electrical, solar and biomass power generating plants to light and energize South Sudan and help it communicates instantly and constantly with the rest of the world.
5) Engaging the Armed Forces of South Sudan to become productive and self-reliance through income generating activities, especially in agricultural and industrial sectors; and
6) Addressing effectively women and girls’ illiteracy, maternal mortality, productive asset insecurity, livelihood insecurity, socio-economic and political powerlessness, and gender-violence.
In summary, for the people of South Sudan and their friends to have a happy country the following pivotal policies should to be emphasized by the new leadership with concrete results-oriented actions achievable in short, medium and long terms:
1) Investing in the South Sudanese nationals in order to improve their skilful industriousness and professionalism through academic, vocational and technical training opportunities;
2) Improving agriculture for food security and enhancing it with non-agricultural products, sustainable water management mechanism and modern industrial processing strategies;
3) Improving the quality of health services to an extensive and affordable level;
4) Improving the physical infrastructure and communication systems by using modern technology (including tourism facilities);
5) Improving institutional governance (including prudent conduct of foreign relations and cooperation) through rule of ethical laws for the protection of human dignity and promotion of national decentness;
6) Improving financial management with transparency, and granting micro-credit accessibility for the least advantaged citizens;
7) Encouraging private job-creating investments and adopting fruitful strategies for intelligible labour with fair remuneration packages for liberating ‘the-working-poor’ within the labour-intensity workforce;
8) Enhancing the bargaining power of the citizens in the free market competitions based on the optimum utilization of the available local resources with protection from external shocks;
9) Encouraging the participation of the poor citizens in the socio-political activities and decision-making forums; and
10) Promoting rigorous research on poverty reduction strategies and relating this to the quest of inclusive sustainable development.
The SPLM ruling clique in Juba needs to pay attention to the repeated calls by the SPLM-DC and its savvy Chairman Dr. Lam Akol that the national unity must be predicated on good governance that rests on six pillars: provision of security, supremacy of the rule of law, multi-party democracy, conducive environment for economic growth and prosperity, service delivery, and vibrant civil society.
Even given all these free alerts, did Mr. Isaiah Abraham read the report "South Sudan Independence still comes at a price" written recently by Pascal Fletcher of Reuters?
Did he read "the US Report on South Sudan: Abuses, Arrests, Torture, Rape: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011.
Did he got to know that American and European donors have suspended their pledged development fund for South Sudan and remain only with emergency humanitarian aid till further notice?
Does he know how much he is tainting the image of the new Republic of South Sudan and of the SPLM ruling party?
If not let him meet me soon at football fitch of Juba University so that I could motivate him with some bottles of the best Johnnie Walkers in the dirty capital city that may help him understand these international observers’ reports and moves fantastically.
Nobody should be banned for being different and not indifferent to the pressing issues around the clock in South Sudan. By contemplating to ban the second largest party in the country let Mr. Isaiah and other SPLM acolytes be assured of receipt of First Class (Upper Division) certificate of autocratic state that is being run by Dinkocrats and Ngundengcrats like him and his commanders of corruption from above. Instead of wasting their time with unproductive rhetoric, why don’t they advice their comrades in harms (not arms) to start licking their vomits so that oil and petrodollars can come back again from Khartoum NCP pipelines since East Africa has proven very hard to dig for an alternative route of an imaginary pipeline.
Of course, the SPLM ruling government is lucky that the new country did not have genuine economy, otherwise, the certificate of the best collapse would have already been issued immediately after the suicidal decision of oil-shut down when this accounted for 98% of the country’s revenues.
Whether, Dr. Lam Akol and myself were anti separation of South Sudan or not, Mr. Isaiah Abraham is urged to consult many recorded articles we wrote. He doesn’t need to waste much time going into a physical library with hard copies because a google touch can shame him instantly as a big liar who has no respect to truth and logic. Even some of Isaiah’s writing were in praise of our determination to keep self-determination alive and moving without any spoilage.
If I may ask him: When did the government of South Sudan endorsed in its foreign policy that citizens of the new country should travel to and live anywhere except the Republic of the Sudan? Why is Addis Ababa negotiations continuing with SPLM chief representatives dinning with the devil if Khartoum has been declared archenemy and untouchable entity to associate with? Hypocrisy can never become a virtue!
Until Mr. Isaiah Abraham and the SPLM regime in Juba come into their proper senses and become responsible and responsive by learning to acknowledge African philosophy that says "I am because we are and since we are, therefore, I am", genuine freedom, justice and prosperity is not going to see light in South Sudan. I bet!
Dr. James Okuk is a citizen of South Sudan reachable at email@example.com