An epistle to my beloved compatriots!

By Bramatali Wani Lo-Lipo Lo-Lisi

Honourable Compatriots:

December 2, 2014 (SSNA) — This is an extraordinary juncture in the history of our State where and when concerned citizens of our generation chose to commence a monumental journey to unravel the realities that are and unlock the valves of the great minds to contribute great ideas in order to precipitate and crystalize the best of the best political thought that has ever been evoked in our Society over ages. Who will stand up for our praiseworthy People? You are the vanguards. Welcome Compatriots, you the forgotten corner-stone. Distinguish your selves and stand up and assume your anchor responsibilities to give durable roots to this Nation now.

On the outset, you are pre-warned of the conspicuous cause of leadership failure in our Country – it’s systemic. Over the years, we have blindly depended on exogenous inappropriate systems, institutions and processes that we have periodically imposed on our well-meaning people. South Sudan by all standards, for example, is drifting, right in our glare, into one-party state system that is unitary and heavy-laden with harrowing capitalism. This has created concentration of unchecked power in the hands of the president as well as other centres of decreed power such as governor, commissioner and mayor – persons holding proportionate yet disjointed unrestricted powers too; and wealth looted moreover with unparalleled impunity and concentrated in the hands of a few individuals such as the 75. This is tantamount to privatisation of our independent State. It is foreign and discrete to our indigenous system.

Our beloved Country has been rapped and dissolved in caustic because of repetitive miscarriage in politics practised by the gone and present-day burlesque political actors, cerebrally myopic and cannot see beyond the horizon. They, hitherto, preside over poor governance and shenanigans in the Land of our birth thus the devastating violence; they are squandering away our mammoth opportunities. These charlatan functionaries are product of morass political organizations deficient of real national vision. Our masses are wrongly oriented to believe that politics is all bad or negative; it is time we re-focused our common people to know the positives of politics as any other science. They should know that politics is the mama genius that organises society. In this respect, our looming conundrum is achieving marginal progress with the current pick of “leaders” and accomplishing a vampire state – a horrible travesty and treachery to our great People’s happiness. Political entities, on the contrary, should frogspawn leaders and leadership that reflect the diversities, realities and interests of the State. Nonetheless, be cognizant of leaders or leadership resultant of culture shock; let us socialize and resocialize ourselves into real leaders whose output justifies their proficient substance.  

These chaos and charade in our Country demands expeditious eradication, but work only possible and champion-able by association of intellectual citizens of the Land. Because politics is the mother of societies thus our State, all literati from all works of life within and without our sovereign State, in order for each citizen to enjoy maximum comparative advantage and the economies of scale therein, unite and engender this opined sophisticated social and political change in our Motherland.

To specify herein, the poor and oppressed of our lot, the numerical practical majority whose wealth has been gruesomely looted, rise to the occasion and be the effectual agents of your own bright destiny. By our civil association, we offer the best opportunity. The People are a source of significant social and political change. Transforming and creative citizens and their permanent links with reality, produce not only commodities but also socio-political institutions, ideas and concepts. Our great People should not be allowed to idle and rot promoting consumerism as we see all around us, but should be motivated to shape and create the material reality in their environment, sustain their lives through economic productivity and innovatively utilize social and political institutions to govern and regulate well themselves.         

Therefore, meticulous synthesis of a new political thinking to evolve into a modern political alliance championing national political vision and agenda is noble and valuable investment vis-à-vis the most demanded change in our Country now than ever before. Yet, given the real circumstances so far, it is a massively daunting undertaking. To succeed in this war, be brave and dedicated as a true patriot – I believe you are such being.

I personally see a simple way of tackling our Country’s administrative aspect of our problem. The rational giants, those with wanted moral standing and mean well to the public interests, by national consent, seize the legislature and judiciary – the very government arms that matter greater to our earnest People and their cherished interests. You should deny the current stock of politicians, overwhelmingly characterized by pursuit of excessive selfishness and personal aggrandizement, seats in or membership to the legislature. The intelligentsia then will make the meritorious decisions and choices in accordance with the popular People’s welfares. The legislature then will become ours and worth the saltiness. Government institutions then will indeed be effective enough to settle every conflict in the Country. Each community or tribe or individual will take to abide by the decisions of or orders issued by the legislature and judiciary, invoke its correct decisions in every dispute, agree its judgement absolutely and carry out every measure the tribunal deems necessary for the execution of its decisions.

But here, immediately, I confront headlong a difficulty. Parliament is a human institute which, if its power is inadequate to enforce its verdicts, it may be deflected by executive pressure and defy ideal legislative, oversight or representation decisions demanded by the citizenry, the electorate.

The question of national security in my notion is paramount considering the status quo; the security of the commendable People of the Land is thrown to the dogs. Therefore, every tribe, every “leader” and every military general now with swarm of militias or bodyguards must surrender this deviate behaviour; totally submit to the national social contract and the public good. We should be conventional come what may.

So far, following the colossal definitive substantiation of the debacle in the Country on the 15 December 2013, our present political leaders or government have riveted to non-benevolent propaganda pinning their power either to the use of force or so called democratic elections that moreover occurred in a dissimilar legal dispensation, not representative of the superior moral or intellectual elements in the State – the rule of law.

The on-going quarrel in Ethiopian, for instance, in what I view as the “Peace Gamble” as opposed to peace negotiations, on positions and power particularly for the premiership or presidency; refresh memories of and admiration for our kings and chiefs who actually only have spiritual or supernatural roles. Besides, South Sudan like most pre-colonial Africa tremendously exuded federation characterized by great decentralization of power and devolution of authority. Closely intertwined is the marvellous home-grown South Sudanese, decision-making process – the consensus.

Unfortunately, in our day and age, the supposed political elites are mercenary-like and devoid of any direction, they do not influence history of our Country positively. It is outrageously fractured into many factions, which by all practical measure renders the members impotent of cooperation in finding appropriate solutions to today’s Country’s teething glitches. I believe you share my fathomable feeling that a change can by our free political alliance as compatriots whose previous experiences provide a certainty of our ability and integrity. Such a set of national scope get-together is an indispensable necessity now. As members, you would have to keep contact with each other so that you constantly interchange your grandeur opinions in order to gain a significant and wholesome moral influence on the solution to this political disaster. Indeed, you should coalesce into a formidable political alliance with superior attitudes and backed by the devoted signatures of your own concurring members, aesthetically storm the public through the press and other media.

Scepticism is unavoidable in scholarship; so a word of caution suffices. Such a political alliance would of course, suffer from all the defects that have so often led to degeneration in learned societies. The danger that such a deterioration may develop is, regrettably, ever present in view of the imperfections of humanity. However, and despite those perils, we should heroically form such a political alliance with the urgency she deserves. This seems to me nothing less than an imperative duty!

Once such a political party of intellectuals – men and women of real nature – has come into being, it might then make an energetic effort to enlist citizens in ending at least enduringly unnecessary violence in the Country. Our political alliance would give moral power to action to many personalities whose good intentions are today paralyzed by an attitude of painful resignation and dereliction of national duty. I also believe that such a political alliance of people of our generation of your calibre, who are highly appreciated for their personal endeavours regardless of the prevailing conditions, would provide important moral support to those elements in government who actively maintain the greater objective for which government is created. 

I believe, moreover, that your duty is to deploy and utilize your credible capabilities to tackle the cataclysm at hand professionally and practically. I am abundantly aware of your increasing disillusionment over the inability of the present political class to deal with the catastrophe that they themselves caused in the first instance. I offer these submissions to you; my Chosen Compatriots, rather than anyone else in the Country. This is due to my reckoning that your sense of reality is less troubled by delusive thinking than is the case with other people. Additionally, you pool the qualities of critical judgement, seriousness and responsibility. In addition, I am heartened that I have known you quite well that you are dependable cream that can see our Country’s calamities in the viewpoint distance lend.

As for me, the only normal object of my judgement is to provide some vision within my measure into some grey area(s) in relation with this review now proposed at hand. I can seek to clarify some intervening fears so as to enable you to bring the light of your comprehensive awareness of your intuition and nurture to bear upon this deep malfunction in question. I am convinced; you got what it takes to suggest educative approaches lying in the realm of rationality which will eliminate the troubling turmoil in our polity. No doubt you know how passionate I am to backing anything that could effectively help fight the problems our beloved Country has been plunged into plus preventing similar recurrence. Surely, I am with the same measure anxious in aiding ending the current militaristic orientation of our Society – South Sudan! In conclusion, let’s be relevant to complete our national liberation struggle. “He who doesn’t know where he came from doesn’t know where he is going,” says an African proverb. Synthesis of a brand new political party is the only way for us to go Compatriots – let us kick the ground moving to reach the mountain top of our desires, not running less we break our legs.

The Author lives in Juba, South Sudan.

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