By Juma Mabor Marial
April 24, 2013 (SSNA) — I may be called the Journalist, the activist, the political rival, the most wanted person in my attempts to response to the untenable utterances against the media and other citizens of lakes state by the Deputy Governor over the weekend, but am also convinced in my own right that if I don’t condemn these reckless statements from our leaders, then who would do that?
Before I could release my discontentment, I wish to refer the readers to article published on Sudan Tribune on April 23, 2013 (RUMBEK) which read as "Those who are writing negatively about this state government will be crucified like Jesus Christ if we capture them", Lakes state’s Deputy Governor, Mabor Achol Kuer, said on Sunday.
It is not surprising to read such statements from Mabor Achol because the man has been known for his controversial statements in his political life. Previously during his tenure as a commissioner in one of the counties in Greater Yirol, he was quoted as saying “the Agaar’s cattle do not have marks in their foreheads such that they could be easily identified with their herders’. He was then responding to the quest by the Agaar community leaders asking his leadership to recover the cows stolen from the later. This statement has caused him several confrontations and some of us had thought he would be more careful the next time he releases any statement in relation to public issues.
I personally respect the Deputy Governor and his policies especially in the fight against corruption and nepotism in the state institutions. He has since his appointment stood out to be a very objective politician because at some point he would disagree with his bosses on principles of governance and this has all along enabled him built a stable political platform between him and the public. We had hoped he would continue to do the same with regards to safeguarding the bill of rights including but not limited to the freedom of speech, expression, association, political opinion, religion because he is now quoting the Bible etc…
It is also too difficult to blame him for releasing this statement because he has to please his boss at some point considering that he has just been missed by a whisper as the recent government reshuffle left him unseated but instead added to his docket the highest and prestigious ministry of education. He therefore has all the right to defend the government but in this particular case, he has over sped by quoting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Christian doctrines to this incident are that the death of Jesus has been rapidly condemned in the strongest terms possible and that the Christians around the globe rightfully believed that Jesus was innocent and his ultimate death was not the best decision made by his executors. Therefore, if the Deputy Governor could go back to his archives and read on the teachings, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the whole history about Jesus and his crucifixion , he would only end up quoting the bible that ‘ father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing’. So if the Deputy Governor crucify these journalists and activists when and if they capture them, then the victims would simply say, ‘God forgive this government for it do not know what the purpose for the bill of rights is’ in the Transitional Constitution.
Negative criticisms as he intends to portray and Crucifixion in regard to Jesus Christ have diverse connotations and the Deputy Governor should have had the wisdom to select his statements very carefully.
Nevertheless, the question of crucifying people of south Sudan by a certain level of government is an element of insecurity and it is unfortunate that the government that is entrusted with protecting the lives of the citizens is threatening them with crucifixion. The changes in Lakes state of removing the duly elected governor were prompted by rampant insecurity and the president in his own wisdom selected General Matur Chut Dhuol to go and restore sanity in that state. This also means that insecurity cannot only be about sectional fights, cattle rustling, crimes and street gangs but it may also be caused by reckless statements like this particular one by the Deputy Governor. Insecurity does not only mean seeing dead corps but also means when there are intentions of intimidating, threatening, scaring someone away from living in their rightful homes. The Deputy Governor seemed to have not considered the negative repercussions his statement entails in regard to the general policies of his government and security situation of lakes state in particular.
What do I advise?
Personally, I still want Mabor Achol Kuer to remain relevant in the political landscape of Lakes State because together with General Matur Chut Dhuol as his boss, we can be rest assured of a corruption free Lakes State and perhaps the insecurity will with time subside if the stringent measures that the caretaker governor introduced are critically followed. However, I want the Deputy Governor to observe the following;
If the Deputy Governor takes into account some of these unsolicited advises from me, his citizen, I think he will have a brighter political destiny.
Juma Mabor Marial is a lawyer based in Juba. Reachable at [email protected]