Remembering a true hero: Late Hon. John Luk Jok died in the month of June in 2020

Late John Luk Jok. Photo: ST/File

By Peter Reat Gatkuoth

“Heroes Never Die. They Lives on Forever in the hearts and minds of those who would follow them in their footsteps” (Potter, 1989).

June 9, 2023 (SSNA) — Since the beginning of the society, mankind has relied on the leaders with good leadership qualities. Although leadership styles may change over the time and throughout different generations, research indicated that all civilizations benefit from qualities of good leadership and therefore, it worth to note that South Sudan and the Lou Nuer (Borchar) as a community had lost an unreplaceable leader whose life is surrounded with worthy of love, commitments, Justice and determinations.

Notwithstanding that the circumstances of a man’s upbringing during his childhood and his life experiences usually shape his approach to the leadership and management. Late Hon. John Luk Jok (The John Luk of SPLA/SPLM) was brought up in the community/family that valued rule of law, democratic procedures and communal norms and regulations. The desire that his parents have for change in the way the country (Sudan) is governed was a factor that influence Late Hon. John Luk Jok to make a decision and join the struggle against the Islamic regime in 1970s.

During that time, South Sudan was predominately experiencing Islamic regime humiliation and destruction of human lives and properties which forced thousands of the citizens of South Sudan to join the rebellion. The people from the north held an overwhelming majority in political power, while those living in the South, West and some parts of East were struggling to survive in an abject poverty due to inadequate government services such as roads, hospitals, schools, health facilities and etc.

Late Hon. John Luk Jok (Died on June 02, 2020), a man who dedicated his life to the struggle and democratic principle had often spoke of “crucible moments — those rare and often intense moments that can provide leaders and young people with valuable insights” into what the future may have hold for the country. Personally, I hold a deep respect and admiration for the late John Luk Jok. The individual in question was an exceptional person who demonstrated an unwavering commitment to this country, South Sudan.

He worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his fellow citizens and was truly dedicated to the cause of struggle. His extensive experience as a former minister of Petroleum, Justice, Transportation and Minister of East Africa as well as his esteemed membership in the political party (SPLM) allowed him to make profound and impactful contributions to the nation. Throughout his career, late. Hon. John Luk Jok demonstrated a strong sense of integrity and unwavering commitment to justice or the rule of Laws. Late Hon. John demonstrated a steadfast dedication to fulfilling his obligations, consistently upholding a strong sense of responsibility and commitments toward the target objectives.

He has struggled to enlighten public about justice, rule of laws and he exhibited an unwavering commitment to treating all parties involved with impartiality and fairness. He consistently demonstrated a strong sense of ethics and integrity, allowing his virtuous character to lead him in all his endeavours. His unwavering commitment to serving others was evident in his actions, which were always motivated by the greater good. Late Hon. John Luk Jok, in his capacity as the Minister of Justice, demonstrated unwavering commitment towards enhancing the legal framework and ensuring strict adherence to the rule of law. He advocated for initiatives aimed at improving the availability of legal resources, with a particular focus on ensuring that disadvantaged and underrepresented groups have equal access to justice. He exhibited a deep commitment to both justice and compassion, dedicating himself to enhancing the well-being of the less fortunate and advocating for their rights to be recognised.

Late John Luk Jok made significant contributions to the enhancement and expansion of South Sudan’s transportation infrastructure during his tenure as the Minister of Transportation. The official acknowledged that a country with strong networks and relationships would promote financial advancement and make it easier for people to come together as a community. Thanks to his strategic vision and pragmatic approach for improving the Airport facilities and established building terminals, enabling people to connect across the nation and promoting regional development.

It worth to mention that late John Luk Jok’s dedication to serving the public was demonstrated by his membership in the SPLM, an organization led by group of committed leaders who fought together against the Islamic Regime in Khartoum. He played an active role as a member of the party in shaping policies and initiatives that were aimed at fostering a prosperous and united South Sudan.

Late John Luk played an active role in the community and in the movement, leading to the independence of the nation. He faced obstacles, detentions, jails and he managed them amicable without causing communal friction between his community and the others. As mentioned by some speakers and authors, “the challenge of leadership in the modern society is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly” (Jim Rohn, 2001).  Late John Luk Jok balanced his roles with great care as most leaders in the movement wanted his support and his community supports. He was highly regarded by his peers due to his sagacity, capacity, tactfulness and proficiency in manoeuvring intricate political terrains.

In addition to his notable professional accomplishments.  Late Hon. John Luk Jok possessed admirable personal qualities at his very essence. His warm and infectious personality, coupled with a genuine smile and a kind heart, had a profound impact on the lives of those in his circle including the upcoming youth within the society of South Sudan and where he belongs. His reputation was built on his modesty, accessibility and openness to hearing the issues and feedback of those he represented.  Many people in South Sudan were drawn to him because of his sincere concern for their well-being. His passing due to cardiopulmonary arrest, has created an irreplaceable gap in the nation and the entire society. He succumbed to the severe effects of Cardiopulmonary arrest, and his passing on was a significant setback for South Sudan and its citizens. Nonetheless, his impact endures, preserved in the recollections of those who were fortunate enough to have crossed paths with him and observed his unwavering commitment to his duties.

On this month, we honour the memory of Late. Hon. John Luk Jok, who was widely regarded as exemplary and distinguished leader, known for his unwavering commitment to Justice, honesty, transparency, rule of law and his tireless dedication to serving the people of South Sudan. Late Hon. John Luk Jok’s steadfast devotion to upholding fairness, unrelenting work towards enhancing JIA, national Oil and Gas governance, and the unwavering commitment to the welfare of South Sudan will be eternally commemorated. Let us honour the memory of the departed, by wishing his soul to find an eternal peace. May his exemplary life continue to motivate and encourage future generations in South Sudan to serve their country with the same level of devotion and altruism.

The writer is the co-author of the book entitled “Energy Transitions and the future of the African Energy Sector: Law, Policy and Governance.” Gatkuoth has engaged in writing constructively on academic journals and other issues of any concern in various fields of studies. He is currently working on the Book’s Chapter entitled The Legislation and Governance of critical Minerals: A review of Legislative systems of Mineral in Africa,” and he is also working on Book entitled“The Nuer traditions, Social Life and Culture: A Review of South Sudanese culture of inclusivity, practices, and norms.He is reachable at [email protected].

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