BY: Taban Abel Aguek, RUMBEK, JUL/21/2013, SSN;
In his book, 48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene advised against appearing too perfect. “Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses,” stated Greene. Within the context of the current wrangles going on in the leadership of South Sudan this can be a very valuable advice.
South Sudan’s Vice President, Dr Riek Machar Teny has openly declared his desire to replace Salva Kiir Mayardit as the Chairman of SPLM with hope of transiting to the country’s top most job. Some other SPLM big wigs have equally made public their interests in leading the country. From there all the echoes of SPLM losing vision, corruption, Kiir’s incompetence and the country losing direction have been pouring in non-stop.
Without restraint, all that has been happening is pointing at every log in the eye of the head of state while every one of the aspirants ignores a lot they have in their own eyes.
Those who think they can change the direction of the country or restore the vision need also to learn one more thing: it is dangerous in politics to appear like a complete Messiah.
The war within the SPLM makes many of us think that the role of the opposition party, SPLM-DC and Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin has been unjustifiably snatched by those within the ruling system. That is unfair to the SPLM-DC, the ruling SPLM and the whole country.
Dr Riek, just like any other South Sudanese, has every right to contest to be president of the Republic of South Sudan as per the constitution of South Sudan. And requires him not appear so piously patriotic and some developmental. One can be a leader in his own means.
What is only very bad is for someone to use the situation imposed on the country by inter-state duels with Sudan to stage a campaign of failure on another so as to advance their self interests. We have not achieved what we are supposed to achieve because there has been constant aggression over there and instant sabotage also in here.
Every human being needs to put in a proper juxtaposition both the past and the present in order to calculate and measure the future. If we can look at that quite seriously through the fair lenses of righteousness then we need to be careful when we drive through our ambitions or even when we are driven by our dreams.
The most important thing that I would like to put across is that South Sudan, as a young nation, is struggling to stand on its feet. The number one thing this country needs is not a new president who can drop manna from heaven.
No! Rather we feel that unity of the country is a prerequisite to all the other priorities. This country needs to be kept stable and united until it has surmounted the challenges and threats posed by Sudan as well as other difficulties that have to do with new nationhood and nation building.
With the current state of affairs and with Khartoum playing it so topsy-turvy, it is a blatant lie for anyone to think that he or she can ascend to power today and change everything tomorrow for South Sudan. We are undergoing what every new country can go through. We only need to be patient, calm and resilient. That is the only means through which we can achieve our dreams.
South Sudan did achieve an official independence but it is still short of so many things that are very important to the very existence of the nation itself. First of these is the issue of the southern contested borders. The area of Abyei, Heglig, Kafia Kingi and so many others have not yet had their future decided.
Our economy largely depends on oil which again has to pass the territory and infrastructure of Sudan – the country that has pledged right after our independence to play some dirty cards with our statehood and existence. We are faced with rebellions in the country whose causes are not clear. We have an army that is not yet established into a world class army. Our air is open to an enemy’s use any time they feel like.
Our diplomacy is still at an infant stage. When one looks at these unresolved issues plus so much more than one tends to think who seeks power quite so vigorously at this time is laughing at us. Those who scramble for your wealth when you are on a death bed actually had been wishing your death, people say.
Similarly, those who want leadership at a time South Sudan needs to stand together to fight external aggressions and internal state-building hurdles are letting us down either knowingly or maybe unknowingly.
There is a serious need for SPLM leaders to stand together behind President Salva Kiir because when SPLM falls the country will similarly go in tatters. And it will be disgusting that the country was allowed to fail simply because most senior leaders are fighting for the top most positions.
Not only does South Sudan need all tribes together and but it equally needs Salva Kiir, Dr Riek Machar, Pagan Amuom, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng and of course all of us together.
If Dr Riek wants to count on failures of Salva Kiir to build a platform on which he should rise to power then it is a complete mockery. No one can climb a mould hill and then condemn the ground.
There is no where Salva fails and Dr Riek goes clean. If SPLM led government did fail then it must have been allowed to fail by all the partakers.
Or the public shall not rule out a possibility of attributing any failure of the government to an un-cooperating VP and his friends. It has already passed down to the understanding of the public that the VP and his friends are pulling down the efforts of the President, engage him so as to take him off his plans and throw mud at him so that they stand cleaner than him. If this is the case then Salva Kiir can be the angel of the power contest.
President Kiir cannot rule forever. President Kiir does not want to stay in power because he is not a power hungry person. If he was a power hungry person he would not have toiled for all the years in the bush under Dr Garang without complaining any single day.
The interest of Kiir is to ensure that he leaves a stable, dignified state for all the sons and daughters of South Sudan.
More still, Salva Kiir Mayardit has not completed even one term as the President of South Sudan. During the CPA, the President of one united Sudan was Omer al Beshir. Mr Kiir was 1st VP and President of a semi autonomous South Sudan that was still being managed by one Beshir in Khartoum. The rightful independent term as Head of State just began on 9th July 2011.
So, President Kiir has been in office for just two years. Even the very democratic USA, a President can stay in office for eight years if elected the second time. Why are South Sudanese scrambling so much when they still have time to be Presidents later on?
Many of our leaders have stayed close to Salva Kiir for decades but how did they fail to learn just one thing from him: patience. Had it not been for his patience, SPLM would have divided even further after 1991 Riek’s split.
Salva underwent some mistreatment in the bush but he did use the heavy weight of Bahr el Ghazal to rebel. He never wished Dr Garang dead. He rose to the throne courtesy of his calm, humble and resilient heart.
If our senior leaders could learn that, one day they can land on the leadership they so much aspire for, just one at a time because there is time for everyone.
If leadership is all what our people want then the big word is ‘WAIT!’ If anybody thinks he can replace Salva Kiir and change things tomorrow, that is not possible now even if it is battled twice a year on the ballot because South Sudanese people are very much aware.
What is only possible is the use of the NCP long promised cards including the one to divide the South’s senior leadership. Our leaders may have fallen into the trap designed somewhere to cause internal turmoil maybe with or without their knowledge.
May God bless South Sudan!
Taban Abel Aguek works in Rumbek. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org