BY: Lotueng Junub, Rumbek, Lakes State, MAR/20/2013, SSN;
The current Public opinion in Lakes State has it that if people of South Sudan were to go to the polls today, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit would have been defeated in the first round of the ballot, no matter who his main rival is in the SPLM, apart from traitor, Dr.Lam Akol, this being due to Kiir’s nagging hatred for the people of Lakes State in general and Agar Community in particular.
There had been a lingering rumour that President Kiir has taken a sad face towards Lakes State on the pretext that the people of Lakes State are having Secret dealings with the Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, an accusation which was widely denied by Lakes State Community terming it as a sledge hammer to crack a nut.
All we know in Lakes State of the last frequent visits of the Vice President was that he used to visit Lakes State in his capacity as Vice President as well as Deputy Chairman of SPLM in the Republic of South Sudan for that matter.
However, the whole episode started to surface in mid 2012 when the Vice President was delegated by the SPLM Secretariat to lead a team to Lakes State for SPLM thanksgiving Campaign to grassroot Constituencies, the second visit was on 29th July, 2012 when the vice President came to Lakes State again for the conclusion of Thanksgiving Campaign.
To put it blatantly, the issue of Vice President’s visit to Lakes State was being used as a scapegoat by President kiir ostensibly for collective punishment to the people of Lakes State, as the saying goes, “when two elephants are fighting it’s the grass that suffers.”
In this case it’s the innocent masses of Lakes State who are paying a price for the crime they haven’t committed meanwhile it was Kiir who appointed Dr. Riek Machar as his Vice President as well as SPLM Deputy Chairman and now resorted to telling people indirectly that no one should cooperate with his vice. Who is fooling who in this game?
Another visible scenario is that President Kiir has forgotten the electorates of Lakes State who overwhelmingly voted for him by 98% in the last 2010 general elections, however, since he was elected as president of the Republic of South Sudan he never set foot in Lakes to thank Lakes State Populace for having voted for him.
He denied Lakes State community government’s projects, a living example is the state road connecting Juba-Aweil has been left in a very appalling condition simply because it passes through Lakes State.
Also, Total Oil Company was ordered in February 2013 by president Kiir to leave Lakes State and relocate to Bor with immediate effect of 28/02/2013, as a result, a lot of projects funded by TOTAL were left uncompleted while a considerable number of people employed by TOTAL lost their jobs.
Our Elected governor was removed on 21/01/2013 and Maj. Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol was appointed as Caretaker governor under 101 (r) not because of tribal fighting that flared-up into Rumbek town on the 18/01/2013 between Kuei and Rup sections of Rumbek Central County.
South Sudan remains in a fragile situation under Kiir’s leadership and has been rocked with issues of lack of political will on the part of the government, insecurity in the states of Jonglei, Lakes, Warrap, Unity and Upper Nile, ranging from cattle raiding, tribal feuds and revenge killings yet governors of the other states haven’t been removed.
The characteristic manner leading to Chol Tong’s removal was not insecurity but it was crystal clear that president Kiir colluded with some politicians of Lakes State in Juba to remove an elected governor on the ground that Eng. Chol Tong was accused of having close ties with Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar.
Of course, as Vice president, he is supposed to be accorded due respect and cooperation by any State governor he visited.
Secondly, he was accused to have opposed Hon. Daniel Awet Akot for single-handedly appointing Hon. Mabor Ater Dhuol as Acting SPLM Secretary of Lakes state following the sudden death of SPLM Secretary, late Samuel Mathiang Ker. Ater’s appointment was widely objected to by SPLM Assistant Secretaries, County chairpersons and County secretaries in Lakes State, condemning it in the strongest terms possible as a decision taken without consultation from State Liberation Council and it was deemed unconstitutional.
Due to SPLM leadership inability to reload our party with vibrant leaders, it subsequently led into fragmentation of SPLM Party as analysts fear that if President Kiir insisted on holding to SPLM chairmanship in the forthcoming National Convention, it may probably lead to further split in SPLM which will indeed see the ruling party losing the grip of power to non-SPLM candidate.
SPLM in all ten States has been experiencing internal wrangling yet other elected governors in those States haven’t been removed, what is special about Lakes State?
In the aftermath of the removal of the Elected governor in Lakes State, the controversy now in so many people’s lips is that, why president used article 101 (r) in part to removed elected governor and refused to implement 101 (s) which allows for holding gubernatorial elections in Lakes State within 60 sixty days (two months) which lapses on 23rd March, 2013.
The government of the Caretaker governor in Lakes State will lose its legitimacy unless otherwise elections are conducted before 23rd March 2013.
There is a common knowledge that President Kiir wanted to eliminate all potential Lakes State politicians who’ve been working in his government and are now put on non-effective list as follows:
3.Gen. Alfred Ajuong Makuer
4.Professor Machar Kachuol
5.Gen. Mager Achiek
6. Chief justice wol Makec
7. Gen.Makur Thou
8. Isaac Makur Ater (former Undersecretary of Finance)
9. Eng. Jacob Marial Maker (former undersecretary of Roads)
10. Eng. Chol Tong Mayay (former governor of Lakes State)
11. David Nok Marial
12. Khamis Chawul Lom
13. Said Chawul Lom
14. Ustaz William Ater Maciek
15. Dr. Peter Nyot Kok
17. Awan Maper (former minister of Environment).
The list of Lakes State politicians who are awaiting reassignment from president Kiir is endless anyway.
With all these vivid analysis of all problems Lakes State community have encountered during president Kiir’s leadership, it’s imperative that our president is taking people of Lakes State for a ride and as a result Lakes State Community have completely lost any zeal for Kiir’s leadership and have demanded change of leadership in all spheres of political transformation.
Therefore, the Youth of Lakes State have taken it upon themselves to sensitize their people not to vote blindly comes 2015 general elections, like what happened in 2010 when leaders came to seek for their votes and who, when elected into public offices, they failed not only to implement what they promised but also have forgotten even to come and say thanks for having voted for them.
The days for regionalism are gone. When it comes to general elections in 2015 Lakes State will vote as a block to a leader on a give-and–take basis but not as a region as there has been enormous marginalization in regionalism where some States in Bhar El Ghazal are more developed while others are less developed.
Lotueng Junub is a South Sudanese citizen living in Lakes State and could be reach on email@example.com