James Wani Igga, the prodigal son of Equatoria

By Elijah Samuel

July 22, 2014 (SSNA) — I am not going to waste time to define who James Wani Igga is, however will do so briefly for our international readers; this Igga was the Speaker of the South Sudanese Legislative assembly, and currently, the vice president of The Republic of South Sudan. He also is among the most senior members of Sudan’s people Liberation Army/SPLA/M.

Igga joined the SPLA in 1985, trained in Cuba and Ethiopia. He rose through the SPLA ranks rapidly, and by 1987, Igga had the rank of a Major and commanded the Shakus Battalion.

The same year he served as Zonal Commander of Central Equatoria and as a member of the SPLA High Command, because of his unquestioned loyalty and friendship with Dr. John Garang and being naïve and passionless and lack of backbone to oppose any initiative coming from the top, such individuals becomes the beloved of tyrannical governance as they do not tolerate oppositions, this character weakness earned and got him a quick promotions in the world of SPLA/SPLM Dictatorship.

James Wani Igga hails from Bari tribe more specific he came from southern Bari clan south of Juba, near Kitt as one heads from Juba towards Nimule.

Noticeable, James Wani Igga remained unpopular among his people the Baris and Equatorians at large, though highly respected within the SPLA movement. This unpopularity at the home front is due to his inability to relate and the utter disengagement with his people the Equatorians.

Many south Sudanese see James Wani as part and partial of the failed government of Kiir, even before, Kiir appointed him as vice President in October 2013 to replaced former vice president Riek Machar.

Though he is one of the powerful South Sudanese politicians, given he was the first speaker of the National legislative assembly and his historical role in the war of liberation, Wani miserably failed to address some of the alarming issues that have infected the Nation for the last 9 years. This branch of government was lead by him and it failed in his hands, how then do we expect him to be able to achieve anything at the executive branch if he terribly and utterly failed in the legislative?

The Majority of Equatorians view Wani Igga as an incompetent and clueless politician who lacks ability and wisdom to unify the Sophisticated and complex and diverse people of Equatoria.

The Equatorian more so detest and despised the fact that he has become a mere messenger who carries lies, simply puppet, he lacks a national or regional initiatives nor directions, he is rather egotistic politician who is only preoccupied by his political future and maintaining the current status quo rather than fighting to correct the erred President to embrace peace and democratic dialogues and the much needed reforms everyone agrees is urgent except for Wani Igga and his boss the tyrant.

Equatorians sees Igga as taking aggressive position on behalves of Kiir and lacking political tact, using street and abusive languages towards democratic political opponents and mobilizing the sons of Equatoria to die for this war of Salva Kiir to remain in the top job of the country.

While his people, the Bari, are being cornered by the Jieng left and right in Juba regarding land, James Wani Igga did not and does not identify with the pain of his people in this regards, although the Baris are at risk of losing their land in Juba and other surrounding areas to the land rustling Jiengs who have not hidden their agendas and ambitions to occupy the Greater Equatoria, and make its peoples, second-class citizens of this new nation. 

Igga decided to remain quiet as such, his very own Bari people the indigenous of Juba implicate him in the lucrative business of selling land to Dinka political and military elites.

From 2005-2013, there have been dangerous lands grabbing practices involving some of the high-ranking government official like Salva Matok, the former deputy interior minister, to include the President Kiir himself.

At the time the land grabbers and government security that did not respect human right, murdered the braved Bari chief who stood in opposition yet James Wani Igga remained silent.

As a result many Bari in Juba were forcefully evicted from their ancestral land in the name of development and the so called new nation that has so far benefitted a few and one tribe of the 64, this natives are evicted without ever being compensated and other have become homeless, while the few with money managed to acquired plots in Gudele and other juba outside perimeters.

Mr.Wani Igga never echoed the suffering of his people, rendering him the lost son of the people with no connection and supporters within his Equatorian people. He sold his soul for money and power, which he lacks the will to use for national benefit but personal enrichments and ego.

Recently, the braved governor Clement Wani Konga spoke out on behalves of his people in Central Equatoria and Equatoria as a whole.

He echo the voices of his people, he spoke for them, as a true representative of the people should do, be a voice for his people, that is what he is elected to do, he called for federalism, his called was equally echoed and supported by the great son of Equatoria like no other, Hon. Governor Joseph Bakasero Bangasi of Western Equatoria. And lastly the puppet Governor Louis Lobong came out of shame to support his two counterparts, this he did to appease his counterpart from central and Western Equatoria states, otherwise it is known to every South Sudanese that governor Lobong is in the same school of thoughts with Wani Igga, who are both blind supporters of Salva Kiir, who tells them to dance and they to, like faithful domestic dogs obeying their owners!

Yet this universal calls by the people of Equatoria, supported now by their governors, was rejected by James Wani, the egotistic puppet of the Tyrant, reflecting simply Wani Igga has no individual political goals in place to rescue his people from Dictatorial and oppressions of this Kiir government reducing them into second class citizens.

What Wani does not realize is if your people are reduced to second-class citizens, even if you are personally promoted to the palace, you yourself are still a second-class citizen!Any reasonable and normal person will notice that James Wani Igga is obsessed and preoccupied by nothing else than just losing his seat to Riek Machar for the second consecutive times.After tasting life in abundance the man realized how important it is to fight for his political survival rather than that of his people, to the extend instead of listening to his people he is making an attempt to silence their genuine call for federalism and in addition, in his attempt to pleases the Merciless Tyrant, he is campaigning to halt the formation of interim government.

While recently in Uganda, Igga declared,"We cannot make a mistake neither to accept the rebels demand for president [Salva] Kiir to step down. This is very wrong and can never and ever happen in this world", Igga told thousands of South Sudanese at International University of East Africa (IUEA) in Kampala.

He described as "unwise" any decision by government to share power with rebels, further arguing that it could spur more rebellions among the marginalized in the country”. Quotes from Sudan Tribune.

This is utter nonsense, such figure in a responsible position like that of James Wani would have put the plight of his people first, rather than being a puppet, protecting President Kiir’s interest as his sole mission in life and reason to be alive!

Since Salva Kiir started the massacre in Juba in mid December 2013, Kiir and Wani Igga have paired up to carry lies and create havoc, an act of criminality in our country. His unquestioned support of Kiirs criminal regime makes him an accomplices and murderer of the brethren, of fellow citizens, just like Dictator Kiir, his boss.

The best Wani Igga could have done was to develop his own national profile, his own political aspiration and play neutral and facilitates peace between his erred boss and Dr. Riek Machar, which could have convinced the great people of South Sudan to entrust him the seat of interim President and lead the country to a new beginning with a fresh elections.

He would have gain the support of all sides, an opportunity he blew to pieces! Just as there is no room left for his boss in the future of South Sudan, so is for Igga, the comedian who has deeply involved himself in the predatory and blood thirsty dictatorial politics of Kiir by accepting the position of a puppet at the expenses of his people in the moribund government poisoned by Kiir and his tribal followers had done himself in just like his boss and Equatorians disown him.

It remains to be seen how far James Wani Igga will wrestle with his patriotic nephew Hon Governor Clement Wani Konga, who time and again stood with his electorates and the people of Greater Equatoria.

If the people of Equatoria and south Sudan were to make a choice between the two, it is abundantly clear they will give their support to the iconic hero Hon Governor Wani who not only fearlessly made his feelings known and opposing Kiir’s unrealistic vision to destroy our nation’s dream by silencing people from democratically expressing their support for federalism (Kiir is power drunk that he thinks he can tell us when to discuss certain topics and when we can not, he things being the president means he own our very voices), Governor Konga along with Equatorian Majority refused to buy such to the extend Konga also publicly  denounced the in-discriminate killings of Equatorian women by cutting their Uterus and removing thousands of unborn Equatorian babies during the war of liberation.

This when investigated will constitute one of the most egregious crimes against humanity ever committed against Equatorians in Equatorian lands by the Jiengs, not even the Arabs did such in the 50 years of struggle.

While they Cry about the 1991 Bor Massacre, their crime against the Equatoria then and now against the Nuer has never been committed before by others, how comes it is painful when they are touched but not when they unleash hell on others? And now Wani Igga supports this same criminal regime unconditionally?

Rest assured, history will judge Wani Igga and Salva Kiir harshly, and both along with their cohorts have lost irreversibly the most important seats in South Sudan, the hearts of the People of South Sudan.

The author lives in Juba, South Sudan.

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