“I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it’’
By Dak Buoth,
July 4, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — If you may verily recall, a fortnight ago, I penned an article titled ‘‘SSSAK POLL’’ which inform the members that the long awaited South Sudanese students election was coming soon, and now I have a privilege once again to disseminate to you that the said exercise will be conducted tomorrow morning at Safari club around University way Koinange street, Nairobi, according to the information I received from the electoral commission’s Organizing Secretary Mr.Jime Mading.
That elastic moment which then look like year and months have now been drawn to days and hours, congratulation to all comrades who toiled and moiled to have tomorrow event happen. I wish all electorates who travelled as far as from Eldorete and Nakuru a safe journey on their way to the polling station, the likes of Deng Lual DeNun and Kuony Dhuor Dong et cetera. It is undoubtable that the exercise will be conducted in a free, fairer and transparent manner and in conformity with rules of universal suffrage.
I’m quite certain that the councilors had selected flexible, independent and committed electorate who poses what it takes; and who will come and vote for the candidates who unwaveringly avowed to redefine, propel and nurture our Association to the path where South Sudanese Students in Kenya will proudly identify their commonality and help them shape and improve the traditional relationship between Kenyan and South Sudanese people.
You must cognizant that a qualify voter isn’t just a person issued with an voting card and or who had obtained an age requirement; well those are just compliments needed of any voter, but a certified electorate is somebody who is very conscious of who s/he will vote for base on the objectives outline in one’s manifesto. Principally, do not tell people that you are going to vote for candidate A & Z; you are also not advised to declare verbally the candidate you voted for or against after the exercise for anybody found hurling such sentiment is liar and is guilty of breaching the principles of ‘‘secret ballot’’ why would you say you are going to vote against A or Z when you are doing it privately?
Guys, it’s worth telling, that I felt gladden by the huge number of contestants in tomorrow’s democratic race, the likes of Madam Ayen Marial Chiengan, Deng Bol Michael and John Sunday who are battling for the position of chairperson and several other comrades who are vying for other nine positions ranging from the vice chair, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary, Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer, Students Affairs, Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Sport and Culture and Secretary for Information.
I’m also pleased that majority of contestants are people whose abilities and characters I trust and uphold at pedestal, I personally knew and worked with some in SSSAK in one way or the other, Ayen Marial chiengan is true African girl, audible orator, honest, humble, and very respectful of all people notwithstanding gender, she always avoid indulging herself in unfruitful controversies and she does refrain and abstain from responding to her critics.
I wouldn’t conclude without recalling the day I call on her to represent SSSAK in live television show on KTN at I&M Building 15th floor, at that time she had just arrived in the country from Juba, very exhausted, but she did honor the request and turn up on time, her interview became the headline in KTN evening news, on the night of 16th September 2014, without mincing my words and not being economical with the truth, I must say Ayen has passed the basic leadership examination and she is a leader on her own right. I was privileged and grateful to have graced her campaign rally with other progressive members of her team at Sizling Grills Meeting Hall yesterday. What a forwarding thinking guys in her team, I tell you, very articulate. Her manifesto titled ‘‘sweeping broom’’ is an appetizing and unputdownable document.
When I arrived in the hall, I found it was placed on my table; she had put her full photo at the back of the manifesto, not just an ordinary passport size photo as many people preferred. When I was in the Bus heading back to my place last night, I had guessed perhaps her use of full photo could translate to transparency and openness in the manner she will undertake SSSAK Affairs if offered an opportunity to lead SSSAK 2015/2016. In blink of an eye, shortly after I sat down, I engaged my eye on it speedily for about ten minutes, until I was awaken up by the event’s master of ceremony Mr. Manyang who advised me to stand up and wave at the cheering supporters who were chanting the slogan ‘’sweeping broom……
As matter of fact, at first, I was grappling with myself to find which point can I begin it with, eventually, I opted for skim reading as I listen to their addresses, and when meeting closed, I grabbed it on the table and carried it with me. It is now on top of my home library. I highly recommend her manifesto for public consumption; the points are clear, relevant and well written.
You would hardly find a lady like her with such distinctive values in our male dominated society, for that, I encourage the electorates to accord her an attention required not only with ears but with hearts. On the one hand, the contribution of Deng Bol Michael, former deputy speaker, 2012/2013 a political science student at the University of Nairobi cannot be under or overestimated, though I haven’t seen his manifesto so far, but with his extensive experience, both challenges and successes, I undoubtedly hope and expect well-crafted piece from him. I wish to roll my eye on his manifesto tomorrow in the hall if at hall he has one. Countless ills have been executed during his tenure, but his hands are said to be white and clean like cotton.
He is a guy you can reason with on all manner of things, he is a little bit conservative in behavior, thus some guys may miscomprehend that for not being a strong headed man, which isn’t the case in all engagements. His richness in south Sudanese languages is quality one will die to achieve, he is very eloquent nearly in south Sudanese local vernaculars. Moreover, his ideas have been so useful in our arduous journey to elevate SSSAK to the stage we approach tomorrow, especially during the SSSAK Interim period. Because of my dislike from wishful thinking, let me not speculate what he has in his manifesto but we must remain hopeful.
Optimistically, John Sunday too must have constructed a skillful program for SSSAK though I haven’t heard an echo from him nor from his sympathizers, I recall our days when we relentless battled what we then called ‘‘archaic and the unconstitutional mishandling of the former SSSAK Chairman, comrade, Chol Gabriel’’ Sunday’s name featured fourth in the six page petitions that I filed before Ambassador Majok Guandong Thiep in 2013 before he was thrown to Istanbul Turkey to represent Juba regime as Ambassador.
In that clamour to have the former chairman reinstated as legitimate, elected former SSSAK leader, which we eventually achieved, I had then known John Sunday as a sycophant of SSSAK constitution and justice stalwart until recently when he got attempted to veer off from those ideals. Though he later became aloof of any of my doings regarding SSSAK, I wish to hear from him at Safari club tomorrow, his late injurious critics on me and the team will be adjudicate tomorrow through the opinion court.
Last but not least, without forgetting other compatriots who are vying for other senior positions, the likes of Bol Yar Pech for Secretary General and others who lectured me with their progressive manifestoes yesterday at Sizling Grill restaurant, I cheer you all; I expect the campaign to reach its tail end tonight or until the wee hours of tomorrow.
I’m quite sure you have had ample time to share your objectives with SSSAK fraternity either via texts, social media, cell phone conversation et cetera; and now each of us believed and anticipated that you have garnered utmost confident depending on how well you disseminated and articulated your ideals and how appetizing or souring was your relation with students in the past, as such, you ought to expect nothing less than a victory.
As i leave you with message of success, I want to remind you about the philosophy of students politics traditionally and globally, right from the days of Fidel Castro in Havana, Cuba, Steve Biko, Senator James Orengo, Senator Omar Hassan and Miguna Miguna, it has always been about generating and restoring sanity, standing on the side of the oppressed, defending, protecting the weak and minority interest and providing alternative leadership and unfaltering quest for just and open society both at national and international arena.
Students’ leadership is meant to toil in value-adding, it should never go to bed and ejaculate with the existing authority, it should never be lure, entice or coerced to perpetuate what was already made by giving you money that we know is yours, students leadership is not complacent in nature, it is always progressive, proactive and combative in all its approach and engagement. Thus, having known and felt that South Sudan is currently suffering from leadership crisis, It is the wish of our people both at home and a broad who regarded us as light through they see that we shall fight on their behave and not to conspire against them. A friend of mind recently remind me of quote once said by late Prof. Chinua Achebe in his book 1983 “the trouble with Nigeria” he said “The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership, there is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air, or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenges of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership”
The writer is I. Chairman of the South Sudan Students’ Association in Kenya (SSSAK); the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of other I. SSSAK Executives, he can be reach for comments via firstname.lastname@example.org