BZ: Akot Marial, SOUTH SUDAN, MAR/30/2013, SSN;
South Sudan is increasingly and ominously gripped by a palpable anxiety and fear in the preparation for SPLM forthcoming National Convention which precedes the expiration of the five-year term of the SPLM leadership, culminating with four SPLM luminaries expressing their interests for the top job.
Among them are Dr. Riek Machar, Pagan Amum, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior and James Wani Igga. All of whom except James Wani who’s decided to throw his weight behind Mayardit, but the rest plainly vowed challenging the incumbent SPLM Chairman Salva Kiir Mayardit in the run up to the National Convention.
Several failed attempts have been made by SPLM highest political organ, the Political Bureau, to put its house in order and to go to the national convention with just one voice as per 2008 convention, but found it outrageous this time round to convince the contestants to submit to Mayardit for another 5 year term in office.
The contenders are expressing their dissatisfaction that under Kiir’s Chairmanship, the SPLM has lost its vision and direction and needs to be rebuilt, which of course has to gain a popular support among the party members.
Eight years down the line have shown no proficiency in handling of party affairs and the nation as a whole given the current economic crisis, rampant insecurity, corruption, rebellion in the part of Jonglei and regular SAF incursion at the border areas of Kiir Addem, Warguet, Jau, to mention a few even after the withdrawal of our gallant forces.
All these amount to believing that Mayardit is losing popularity. Thus for him not to jeopardize his good deeds to the people of South Sudan, it’s therefore advisable that he should retire early and allow the party to select the best candidate among the contestants to lead the Country to the next level based on democratic principles.
Pres. Kiir has been given due respect as father of the nation and being a hero for the many remarkable achievements that he has done during the last civil war and for sailing our Country through to the shore of Independence.
As the nation gears for the ruling party national Convention, it has become a topic of discussions among the South Sudanese populace on the street and in public places both in the states and Juba. This proves a fragile situation in our Country that a wild rumour can grip the nation so quickly indicating the uncertainty and nervousness that underlie the body politic of our young nation, and graphically illustrating how precarious and precious is the stability of this recently independent State.
Nonetheless, the rumour of power struggle within SPLM rank and file masquerading as a fact surrounding the race for the top job of who will become the chairperson of SPLM as well as flag bearer come 2015 in the next convention among the SPLM luminaries.
The president of the Republic oscillated between a certain audacity and a prudent realism and indeed, that perpetual oscillation between despair and distracted joy of running a fair party politics or being rigged to widen the already despairing views of our Country.
President Kiir’s Speech during the Independent celebration on 9th July, 2011, outlining of his Vision for the future is for calmer and more confident South Sudan where endless confrontations no longer dominate the domestic agenda.
But the fate of our Country is still in the melting-pot where some leaders still think along tribal lines or rather the so-called greater regions, whatever you call them, is the cancerous disease that kills in the midst of the spirit of nationalism and unity of our people. I want to see a nation where political differences do not mean personal antagonism.
A nation which can hold its head up proudly as the nucleus of a new dynamic economic region. Above all, a nation that is free to concentrate her energies on progress and development. Only in this way shall we be able to harness our energies and confront our single greatest challenge, the challenge of poverty.
Another point of contention is how to achieve a permanent Constitution which is the supreme law of the land. It’s crystal clear that making of a constitution required the participation of its citizens and would have been tantamount that any Constitutional Review process should come after the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) convention as the two are very much interconnected when the political temperature had cooled.
But after subsequent Political Bureau meetings, little did we know that the ruling party elites would fail to forge a common ground of reaching political consensus as to who will become the SPLM chairperson and flag bearer among the SPLM leaders come 2015.
Lines have already been drawn whether on tribal backing or making allies within the perimeters of the ruling party in readiness of either unseating or maintaining the current status quo.
Britain, the United States, Japan and a number of European Union Countries condemned the excessive use of force on media censorship and silencing of journalists like the killing of political commentator, late Isaiah Abraham, and more especially our relationship with the United States of America is shaky due to alleged support to rebels in the north.
Meanwhile, the world superpowers failed to see the daily support rendered to David Yau Yau rebel in Jonglei by the Sudan government. Another case in point why the West abruptly distanced itself from our Country is that corruption is a controversial phenomenon which has attracted international censure.
Most of South Sudanese citizens condemn the doom-laden chatter of tribalism, nepotism, corruption and lack of cohesiveness among our people, saying that it would consume those who created it.
For as the silence about the forthcoming SPLM National convention sets in, with looming realignment of existing political structure, only if not handled with utmost political maturity may lead to possible split should either side lose the Chair.
This will send a signal that things won’t augur well ahead and in the aftermath of the SPLM National Convention unless otherwise our leaders put aside their political antagonism and instead strengthen the legitimacy of our new Country on a solid foundation where tribes, hatred, corruption and ethnicity don’t dominate the national agenda.
Akot Marial, is a South Sudanese citizen living in South Sudan and could be reach on firstname.lastname@example.org