By: Jwothab Amum Ajak, DEC/22/2015, SSN;
As we lament the state of disunity our people, the good thing is there is a hope still alive and a dream not yet dead. Therefore, this is not the time to bemoan. This is the time to work hard to revive the confidence and trust in the quickly fading away faith in the slogan of “one people, one nation” and make our people reunite once again.
Ultimately, reuniting our people and preserving our nation rests squarely on each of us. It is not only going to be the responsibility of the state alone but of us all. All are responsible to right the wrongs and dismantle the disservices done to that unity, each in his own sphere of influence.
But in order to restore our dwindling hope for a better tomorrow of “one people, one nation,” we need to stay firmly united, armed with objectivity, wisdom and knowledge in tackling our problems of disunity.
Yes, we can come together, because we haven’t reached a point of no return. But after the wounds have healed and after we have buried hatred and violence in the cemetery of yesterday and have worked out forgiveness, reconciliation and healing.
Hope never dies; they say. However, there must be something to sustain it otherwise it is no hope at all. What is that only remaining hope that will sustain our only hope in the hope of “one people, one nation?” An overwhelming majority believe it is the agreed-upon, federal governance structure, an alternative to the current status quo.
People believe federalism will not only provide a good rule foundation of governance based on justice, equality, the rule of law and fundamental human rights. But most importantly it will stop the war and save the lives of those who have not perished from this over 21 month’s ruthless war.
The TGoNU that will come out of the IGAD-mediated Compromise Peace Agreement CPA is important not for its sake but for its mandate to implement federalism. It is crucial for what it is going to do and do it differently and in a better way than the government it will replace.
Such as resource and financial management. That is the gist and crux of the matter. So let us wait and see what the coming days will reveal about that much-talked about transitional government of all political parties and of effective participation of all ethnic groups.
Our people look forward for a TGoNU capable to the task of nation-building. A TGoNU that will give adequate time to look deeper and longer into the underlying root causes of our long-standing communal strive and the unprecedented appalling brutality and violence as well as to address the cause of injustices and inequalities. Also find time to deal with many unresolved, overlooked, belittled, ignored and pushed under the carpet problems. These measures done in good faith will save us from the repeat of December 2013 worst ever tragedies and catastrophes our people has ever seen.
Importantly let it without delay pave the way for federalism, as a popular demand of the people. Let us experience it even as a pilot project that will be confirmed or not later through an informed referendum decision.
At the initial experimental stage what matter are the constitutional principles that provide balance and checks as enshrined in the separation of powers of the different government branches. The nitty gritty package character of the federal system can’t be left to a later date? Not that they matter less but will be decided as we go along our learning curve through the debate and experimenting of federal characteristics itself.
We look optimistically on the TGoNU and its era as a second chance, a second round, for the people of South Sudan to be transformed and begin, if they so decide this is what they want, sowing anew with the end in mind of “one people one nation.” In the past, I believe, we have not as individuals and as a government given our absolute to the programs and activities that unite our people.
To a country ravaged by war and divided on ethnic, regional lines the government of the day has been finding difficulty to sell this catchy mantra of “one people, one nation,”. Yet, even though we may differ with her on how it has been selling or approaching the slogan issue.
Still it is to be appreciated and encouraged for past and present efforts, activities and programs that have sought to drive the slogan’s message home after it had been driven out by bad blood, corruption, vicious tribalism, ethnic violence, racial hatred and stereotype between people of one nation.
Our only wish is the TGoNU start to walk the talk and follow the slogan by deeds. The world Great Teacher taught not only so much by word as by living the word. He was also the great example of the life He was preaching.
Our hope too is on the TGoNU to continue preparing the ground for the seed of “one people, one nation” to grow and to continue exerting real efforts of caring and watering the tree of unity such that we harvest the fruit of the seed sown. That is to say there is no short cut route to “one people one nation”. It is a process and like many processes in life it takes time and efforts.
So by our labour, life, character we shall reap to the full a well-earned fruit which we have sown. And we shall owe it to no one but ourselves. Because it is an eternal law that “no one harvest but from the seeds they have sown,” [and the seeds and the trees they have tended and cared for].
The Divine in His wisdom will not exempt us from the law of sowing and harvesting. Therefore we got to learn and apply the wisdom from Above, the wisdom of sowing and harvesting before we reap our dream of “one people, one nation,” And may the Lord bless our later end sowing more than the faulty less prepared beginning.
I will liken “one people, one nation,” to a fruit for simplification purpose. Peace, stability and harmony likened to the branches of a tree. Justice, equality and fairness likened to the roots. Good governance likened to watering of the tree.
The ground has to be prepared for the seed to grow and the tree has to be watered and taken care of, otherwise the tree will dry and wither away along with our expected fruit. A good fruit, therefore, comes from a good tree, the one which has been taken care of, the one, with healthy branches and roots.
So as the fruit is not only the work of the branches that proudly bear the fruit, nor the roots that uphold, nurture and nourish the branches with the necessary nutrients or to watering that carries the nutrients up to the tree. It is their work together.
The same is true peace, stability and harmony alone will not suffice to lead the country to” one people, one nation” we need justice, equality and fairness which enhance peace and social harmony and binds the people together.
But also we need good governance to sustain justice, equality and accomplish “one nation, one people.” lest the seed of “one people, one nation” will fail to grow shocked by hatred, violence, injustices and inequalities etc.
True a slogan cannot be fulfilled faster in a knee jerk reaction or instantly in the mystical fable fashion of Aladdin with the genie. The genie answering always with the statement “your wish is my command.” And there we have our wish of what we have asked for. In real world it is not going to be so. To realize a wish any wish including our slogan requires dedicated efforts to put down the right seeds and endure in weeding, pruning, so that it bears the good fruit desired.
Also true a slogan is not supposed to run indefinitely for eternity. Our slogan has run long enough. It is time to be subject to review, to examination, like any project, program or policy.
We got to review the slogan policy and reassess and revaluate its tools, methods and the modalities of its implementation and see why it has not been successful in achieving its objective outcomes or goals.
But before we proceed and do the review and analysis process we got to ask: is “one people, one nation” a feasible project? Yes or no. Yes, it was true some years back during the struggle and perhaps it will become so in future with real and sincere efforts. But now when tested and run through our minds and through the reality on the ground it is a near impossible mission to accomplish under the prevailing intense untoward circumstances of disunity. But let us be mindful that where there is a will there is away.