BY: Dhaal Mapuor Aterdit, JUBA, JUN/14/2013, SSN;
It is something hard to say. It is somewhat even harder to imagine here in Africa. The preacher of this ethical notion is looked on as a battering ram against prosperity, development and the political growth in my Continent. Elsewhere, they called it transfer of power from one statesman to the other. It has nothing to do with violence like what came about in 2007 in Kenya – the so-called election violence. This was a premeditated mess by the superiors who were administering the national affairs of the Republic of Kenya by then.
The President of Equatorial Guinea Mr. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is Africa’s longest serving ruler. When he overthrew his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, in a bloody coup d’état in 1979, he stayed in power until today. Although Equatorial Guinea is one of the Continent’s largest producers of oil and has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, nothing much is said to have been accomplished in terms of development and prosperity for the civil population.
Many African leaders run their governments in a fashion that adversely portrays that the governments are their personal and privately-own saving business enterprises.
There in Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe is a norm. As one of the leaders of the guerilla movements against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980. He has been on the throne for decades. He despotically ruled the country for 32 years. One may not tell clearly what kept Robert in his post for those years, but maybe Morgan Richard Tsvangirai (Mugabe’s toughest challenger in Zimbabwe) may have a vast knowledge about this.
In South Africa, things ran soft gently when self-rule was granted to South Africans in 1994. The freedom struggle, akin to South Sudan’s was characterized by a lot of sufferings enhanced by apartheid policy and mass slaughters. This racial segregation and discrimination nourished hate exceedingly in the hearts of the Black Community members and breed continuous violence protests against the White successive regime in Johannesburg.
Arrest and torture were innumerable and limitless. Robin Island was terrifyingly a den of lions in the ears of Black South Africans then.
Peace in the course of reconciliation was the subject of the year in 1994. As a matter of principled preference, reconciliation rank first on the surface of the national priorities. In 1994, Nelson Mandela becomes the first Black African to hold the office of presidency in a multiracial election. His administration focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by means of embarking upon institutionalized racism, poverty and disparity, and nurturing ethnic reconciliation.
Although, he didn’t do much as president, he left presidency in 1999. It was a brilliant personal magnetism. Many people loved him and chose to call him “the father of the nation.” Mandela earned international honor and recognition because of his democratic ideals.
The same thing also happened in The Republic of Cape Verde where President Pedro Verona Pires stand down after two terms and discarded requests to change the constitution to stay in office, like some African leaders have done. He incorporated presidential term-limit into the national constitution and decided to institute a multi-party democracy in the country.
Here in South Sudan, a cluster of patriots with one heart linked jointly to establish a world renowned revolutionary movement, the SPLM/A in 1983. The revolution was boldly geared towards moving away from the constraints of the Old Sudan of racism, religious bigotry, historical myopia, and the combined economic downturns, insecurity and continuous warfare.
Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit was one of the architects of these chronological events. He has never changed his heart only to see South Sudanese free at last. With great passion, they fought for 21 years; they demanded transformation and self-determination for South Sudan as a panacea for abject suffering of South Sudanese.
On the world’s calendar, 9th July tells us the birth of the Republic of South Sudan. This is a day that all South Sudanese love to witness. I love it and I cherish it too! It stands out visibly as a reminder for all the citizens of South Sudan that every one of us has contributed immensely to the establishment of the new republic. I call it patriotism and a march forward in pursuit of a democratic state.
In my faculty of thought, I believe that having stayed in power for innumerable years cannot count to any development and prosperity. But the principle of democracy counts to growth and success in all spheres. This is what the new country needs to be installed. It’s what the country needs to incorporate genuinely into its system as its core value and guidance.
It is not a political abomination if one tells President Salva Kiir to leave the presidency. It is for his regional and international honor and credit. I therefore, vividly urge Mr. President to buy honor and recognition at a priceless cost. It’s a cost that needs political will.
President Kiir, as egalitarian as he is, I hope he may accept some crucial ideas rather than sticking to harmful ones. There are quite a few reasons that I believe if Kiir leaves presidency, South Sudan will have a very clean and fundamental record in the world’s democratic timeline.
First of all, I am very eager to see Salva Kiir retiring from active national politics and become “a father of the nation and one of the champions of modern democracy in Africa”. If he does this, it will be in the interest of multitude historians of the modern world to insert his name deeply into the pages of history. He will be named as inventor of democracy in South Sudan.
Secondly, South Sudan is a tribes-oriented country which is yearning for a great deal of transformation. This transformation scheme involves peace-building and conflict settlement. This tribal rehabilitation can only go so successful when Kiir has stepped aside and advised the country as an experienced statesman. I hope his love for this nation has led to the birth of the Republic of South Sudan.
As a role model, President Kiir is sympathetically required to inject modification in the government structure without hostilities among the communal groupings in the country. I want him become a paradigm of national harmony by doing what will define his leadership. As a result of this he will discover universal view between humankind’s higher values and the politician’s ambitious desire for power.
If he steps aside, he will cement the national foundation of the hard-won new democracy in Africa.
A Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist, Leon Trotsky once said the subsequent quote, “The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end”.
In relation to the contextual argument of Leon, all South Sudanese will learn that the means of governance was democracy, so far the end was peaceful and fair transfer of power from Kiir to another popular South Sudanese regardless of tribe, sex, religion and party he/she comes from.
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