By Godfrey Batali Taban
Dear Mr. President,
Affable greetings to you and peace,
Feb 16, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — I am writing this open letter to you with hopes of a possible change for better and it is being written on behalf of the silent majority that constitute the civil population of The Republic of South Sudan. My plead that would also double as a favourable divulgence and constructive criticism to your authority shall actually dwell on things that I see should be improved particularly with the governance of the country and when dealing with current rebellion.
Mr. President, read my letter with perceptiveness. It is however, good to commit to mind that current rebellion of Dr. Riek Machar that initially exploded as a coup attempt on December 15, 2013 has devastated the country, killed innocent people and firmly exposed your weaknesses irreparably.
When coup was staged on that date in Juba by mobsters and allies, attempting to overthrow the government on that notable night, the night became long and hard to endure. You, fellow South Sudanese and well-wishers of the country, spent it restlessly longing for a quick dawn. When it dawned you notably called the state-own, international and local independent media outlets to come and gather, disseminate or broadcast and share your sentiments with South Sudanese and the people of the world.
Rightly, you did the needful in an appropriate time. Condemnations labelled against Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhorgun as a prophet of doom, a man who holds inherent hatred for South Sudanese, the one who once betrayed his people by conducting a massacre and surrendering to the enemy after inflicting an excruciating damage on innocent civilians were precisely placed. Indeed, that was a right audacity in denouncing the barbaric acts of a person who had for years been despising and defying people’s authority.
The condemnations were conversely suitable for Dr. Riek Machar because his act of insubordination directed at your office were direly hurting not only to you but to the general public. As if you were on the right tract, you reverted one week later by releasing another rueful statement, that you were ready for negotiation and even for face-to-face meeting with Riek. Your quest to meet the prophet of doom as you alleged has a bearing on your political upheavals and the truth is, absorbing a political threat with panic is in its entirety a concession.
By calling for negotiations, and by pledging to meet somebody that you referred to as prophet of doom lowers your political stance and hence you actually had contributed significantly to your own ruin. You have shown a potential weakness outright to the world by succumbing to unnecessary political tricks meant to trap you for a possible toppling.
In fact, the world has viewed you as a failed leader and hence opted to back the rebellion by giving you hard time, first by pressurizing you to release the political detainees. Your concession to that was worsened by the act of accepting a bailout plea by Uhuru Kenyatta. That decision was enough to dispel the coup allegations and was too adequate to cause the progressive demands that are currently giving 30% share of the national governance to a single tribe.
As if that wasn’t enough, you again rub salt into an open wound by proposing the so-called Arusha intraparty negotiations that eventually resulted into a worthless Arusha Agreement. First and foremost, there are no party internal differences that cross borders especially when seeking a solution, it is obvious that political parties in various African countries such as Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe have their own internal disagreements that they are actually struggling with internally but despite that they haven’t opted for interparty negotiations in the neighbouring countries.
The Arusha agreement sounds like a mockery to the robust National Liberation Council because it has overturned the entire work that the National Liberation Council has been doing and in turn has created unforgiveable misgivings. You are likely going to regain through hardship the trust of the entire SPLM membership because your hidden characters of panic and fickle have humiliatingly reduced their efforts of supporting your leadership to something negligible.
Mr. President, there is nothing wise in Arusha intra-SPLM agreement, nothing beneficial to the South Sudanese shall come out of that. Note with commitment that the whole lot of it is just a mere blackmailing since the likes of Akol Paul whom you tasked with negotiations have been eventually alleged to be siding with G11 as a part of their internal sale and together they are working to dispose you from leadership. To emphasize on this, get informed that recent meeting with youths by Chol Tong Mayay the ex-governor of Lakes state in Millimani Hotel Nairobi, has firmly cited Akol Paul Kodi, David Deng Athorbei, Nhial Deng Nhial and Paul Mayom Akec amongst others, as part of their major group that were working for your removal but who eventually betrayed them perhaps because they were affair. Chol’s narration was a revelation on how your weak leadership couldn’t identify the fifth columnists who are actually working within to fail you.
It was unforeseen that you would eventually accept to participate in the total destruction of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the party you help established during those memorable days of hardship. By signing the Arusha deal, you have actually warranted the breach of the SPLM basic laws. Mr. President, you have offended the masses of people by myopically going on to sign a deal that doesn’t favour the party’s very existence.
It is undesirable indeed that you accepted to violate the measures taken upon SPLM wrong doers by the National Liberation Council in favour of few self-seeking individuals that were/are actually behind the mess in the country. You have in fact signed an agreement that brings Dr. Riek Machar and Mr. Pagan Amum as Deputy Chair and Secretary General respectively. Their compatriots too shall follow suit because point-9 of the deal revoke all the decisions made by the Liberation Council and the Convention.
In fact, the decision has rendered the laws flaw and hence you have by implication rechanneled back those prodigal sons who have intentionally devised recalcitrant political willpower of clinging to leadership positions that they shall get following your pardon. In essence, this shall be a permission from you so that they shall revitalize the act of looting our innocent civil population. Their new plan is twofold destructive to the nation than you think.
They have already sold you internationally and hence your acceptance of their demands is essentially an act of confirmation that you were wrong initially. By vowing in front of them in quest for peace, you are as well reducing people’s confidence in you. The idea of siding with people that you know best have looted the country is rendering you unpopular and you shall in a short while be deemed a leader of kleptocrats.
Mr. President, you have developed in to a man so fickle so that your supporters find no solace in you. Another flaw that I keenly observed in you is that you rely so much on second-hand decisions, your reliance on decisions from friends has a huge negative bearing on national matters and it is truly bringing to mind the wider gap you had with our late leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior. Without ado one would quickly say, Dr. John Garang de Mabior was audacious, had his original ideas, consistent, does not betray his supporters, knows his enemies and was capable of rejecting or accepting an idea with reasons. Mr. President, with honest verdict and despite your swing of political ideology, all can treasure your cool character.
Nevertheless, Addis Ababa negotiations are opening up a rift in a country. You must note with intelligence that accepting Dr. Riek Machar as First Vice President and lowering James Wani Igga to a much lower position is a betrayal of his loyalty and is an apparent time bomb. Mr. President, wise people do not replace war with another war. On this and indeed as a pertinent fact, you and your negotiation team are seen to be replacing Nuer war with the Equatorian one.
More so, this has come at a critical time after sacking an Equatorian from the prestigious finance docket on counts of having not made loans with augmentations that audibly cite that current economic grapples are attributable to him. From the lenses of a sincere observer, it should be accepted that oil wells aren’t operating all, the few that are operational have reduced output, prices too have drastically dropped in the international market and hence the decline in the economic prowess.
However, a sound-minded, decisive non-angry person couldn’t attribute this inherent drop in economy to Mr. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni as the cause. Baselessly, he was damned and indeed, he was damned right. To cause more discomfort, you replaced him with a member of dissident group. Mr. President, if I am not wrong, it holds that Mr. David Deng Athorbei was once relieved from the docket on counts of corruption of having paid the traders half a billion dollars but with no credible documents showing the logic of the act. I hope you are familiar with STAR PROGRAM REPORT. Merely, his intention was to hoard bribes and gain kickbacks. It is nonetheless, very resentful to see Equatorians being considered subordinates especially when dealing with issues to do with governance of the country. Therefore, many mistakes mustn’t be committed and on this my take is, Wani should remain in his position as you look for alternative means of bringing peace. It isn’t necessary that peace should through appeasement for a reason that better alternatives are always available.
Another important area of your deviation from core leadership values is an act of liaising with G11 including your recent visit to Uganda where you had a meeting with their team. In that meeting Mr. Pagan Amum accused you of corruption and you just shrugged the accusation off in contentment or discontentment and so this seems you were out there to trace those not happy with you for a possible appeasement simply because you still fear them.
The accusations alleging corruption labelled against you by Mr. Pagan Amum have been strongly augmented by usual nags of Mr. David Deng Athorbei that he pays your family the amount of one million dollars monthly. On this one would deduce an inference that you are perhaps alluding to the fact that he should take that post and continue serving you corruptibly or that you are acting out of fear and so want to appease him not to nag on the previous foul play.
Mr. President, reliable internal sources have leaked your new strategy on people in the government that you need to sack per demands of the rebels and G11. The leakage had it that your new plan is undesirable forthcoming replacement of Lt. Gen. Paul Malong Awan on allegations that he shall plot a possible coup against you. The list is long for those alleged to might have been registered on your wish list awaiting possible sacking and these include Gen. Kuol Manyang Juk, Gen. Aleu Ayieny Aleu, Justice Michael Makuei Lueth and Gen. Obote Mamur Mete to mention but a few.
This pending decision, if true, must die in your throat because it is very perilous indeed and shall render the nation chaotic. The rebels and G11 are one team fighting on different fronts and intelligently, they are trying to use you as a tool of destroying your own support base.
The way forward
Mr. President, your fickle personality, noticeable greatest weakness of lacking ideology, continuously betrayal of your supporters and all the mess in the country are enough to warrant a concrete and permanent decision.
If I were you Mr. President, I would either resign or refuse to accept the shaky agreements that are naively deficient in content. The fact that governors, Equatorians and a significant number of the South Sudan population are rejecting the agreement, I would make it a basis of rejection and coherently, what matters is what satisfies the public.
It is however, correct and acceptable to reject those who have fully denounced you and therefore, G11 is fit in that category. On the same token, discussing internal SPLM issues abroad should ceased. Mr. President, you are as well acting cowardly with interest that you want to help save yourself from international community on remanding you basing on the allege crimes and that you don’t want to be called a bad leader. That can be a possible defence mechanism but it is so weak and derisory so that it can’t help.
It holds that boys will always be boys, so enemies will always be enemies and no matter how much one would want to appease them, they would always be revert from achieving their goal, and that is dethroning you. I shall finally say that we cannot dedicate and we cannot consecrate South Sudan to her enemies, the best option is to sacrifice more for it to be entirely free and safe for all. That is the best provision a patriotic South Sudanese can give.