Opinion: Quit scapegoating, true leaders accept self political failure

By Miyong Kuon

Senior government officials posing for a group picture as they welcome Hon. Dak Duop in Juba/ Photo: File

April 17, 2020 (Thessherald)–At the hill of COVID-19, political defection ensued in South Sudan. This time, leaders should work with their party members to help educate the public about the dangerous virus and offer mitigation plans. But none of that is happening.

In politics, the opponent’s mission is to do anything to divide your camp and define your fate. It is, unfortunately, part of the game, so it is, however, not normal, but it is what it is.

My comrades, if you fail to see that coming, empty promises will drive you to the wrong hands. South Sudan’s future is more significant than the positions we are opting for today. Can we let the dust settle first, so we call for what we think we worth?

An increasingly dimmer view of the SPLM-IO by those who should understand and solve any shortcomings is now a central feature of politicians who lacks integrity.

The question is, were they part of the movement to do business, or to bring political change? The chairman entrusted many with everything from leading us at the political Bureau level to the negotiation team, and finally, they led the first team to Juba.

Now that some of the provisions they poorly negotiated in Ethiopia are crumbling, they blame their Chairman and ignite the IO moving train as they jump out.

But let it be known, sooner or letter, the fire you started will be extinguished and the train continues.

What caused this war in the first place has not disappeared simply because we signed the agreement and back to Juba. It is a process that requires everyone’s effort.

What had killed our fallen heroes and heroines and still keep innocents in IDPs and refugee camps remains a challenge that needs a leader with tenacity.

Those who die in Juba and at the battlefield sacrificed their lives for a political change to be enshrined in the constitution and create a peaceful South Sudan.

Do we believe defecting will solve our differences and constitute the change and reforms overnight?

If anyone feels we are failing as a movement and the change we fought for has been abandoned one way or another, what was our political bureau members doing? What was the governors, and party diplomats doing?

If we fail today, which is not the case here, it should be our collective failure, and we all must take that responsibility as leaders.

The general public in South Sudan staunchly supports the movement. The public still depends on the choices we are making today. If you resort to defecting because of a position, have you considered the people?

If you think you are abandoning the Chairman and the movement, think again. Know that you are relinquishing your position to a lower-tier within the part, and the train goes on. Sometimes it only makes sense if we can accept our shortcomings.

Let me draw your attention to what happened four years ago. On April 28, 2016, at 7 pm Juba, South Sudan. It was the night the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) was announced on national TV. Many of us including Hon. Dak Duop were watching TV at the Chairman’s resident.

Hon. Dak Duop’s name appeared; we all celebrated it. He was appointed the Minister of Oil, a move that relegated the widely expected candidate Gen. Taban to an insignificant Ministry, the Ministry of Mining.

Hon. Dak Duop was excited and cheerfully embraced H.E Angelina Teny and the rest in appreciation. We were there. But brother Dak was new in the SPLM party, yet none of us didn’t storm out of the movement. We considered him
a comrade and a leader.

But the Chairman decision choosing him, a former NCP didn’t go down well. It created one of the most contentious brinkmanship at the party echelon. We all can recall what transpired in the end. People died, and many more continued to die later.

Exactly 1,449 days later, Hon Dak Duop called a press conference declaring his defection from the party. Why? Because the Chairman’s appointed someone else over him.

Now he is accusing the Chairman of favoring friends and relatives, which in your words, you term it nepotism. The letter went on to also said, ”He ( the Chairman) often grasps influential positions and resources through proxies.” Indeed, when Hon. Dak name were announce on TV being appointed the Minister of oil, he rose up hugging anyone he can get in the room. Was that a proxy? If it was, why is it wrong now, and not then?

Four years later, the same leadership gave the same position not to Bhar el Ghazel or Equatoria, but to a brother who happened to be much younger, from Jikany Nuer.

Now, he calls the same Dr. Machar, who chose him over other last time, all kinds of names.
If we decide to turn the reform and change mission into business dealing and not a genuine reform, Hon. Duop should not be the one that stabs from the back. The Ministry of Oil could easily have gone to Bhar El Ghazal or Equatoria. They have the same right and should be the ones that call for nepotism if there is any.

We can now conclude that some comrades went to the bush for business, not for reform. As that becomes the case, please go in peace. You are indeed in the right hand. It is business as usual. Thank you for your short service.

The SPLM-IO party remains focused on the mission. Indeed, it is not an error that any exit of a comrade from a party is a challenge, but the defectors forgo their integrity. The tough times substantiates the gruesomeness of the reality of being an opposition. But it only strengthens the quest for genuine reforms.

The author is a former journalist and member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-IO (SPLM-IO).

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