Understanding Claims and Warrants painted on Hon. Akech Tong

Posted: December 30, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Featured Articles, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Madit Them Arop, Juba, South Sudan

Akech Tong Aleu

Warrap state’s acting governor, Akech Tong Aleu, speaking at Wau teaching hospital during an official visit in April 2014

December 30, 2015 (SSB) — There are different types of claims. There are claims supported by facts, claims that are supported by expert opinions and that supported by values or norms. Based on gathered information on the Internet, the Internet warriors aired out partially that the legitimacy used to make the Honourable Akech became their first prominent governor is questionable. They have gone further to suggest that it was not appropriate for such action to take place. Others have argued insecurely on what is seem to be hatred argument, which is unaffordable and easy to ignore.

But as you read on, this writing serves as a piece of work trying to question the relevancy on the claims and warrants these concerned citizens have established. Trying to identify how this distinguishable fair-minded folks chose the paths they have followed. And why such claims should be given a solid seriousness. You note as well that any argument is considered valid until proven invalid. And such invalidation helps balance narrowly on disagreeable terms or widely considers exercising justice on both.

Tonj as a state has three counties; each county is under separate independent authority. Authorities in those counties deliver services to communities entitled but not in isolation. They collaborate as Tonj Counties.

After Tonj upgraded and wedded as a new state, however, effective challenges had arisen on who is to take legendary step to be first governor. So many applicants have hurried in and applied for the position. The challenges still remain: the post is one position demanded by more than the required figure. As a result, the politics started its own dirty tactics; every applicant has tried to wash down the other contenders, trying to stand tall among the crowds while being rallied behind by the community where the candidate is from along side with committed friends. The politics heated up and gradually created what is appear to be divisive environment, an environment where eyebrows stood solid, eyeing on other contestants seriously and carefully. This game played, part of it was done over the phones, people tirelessly collect information from other camp through means of hidden agents; others sent candidacy messages to the Internet for circulation. The chain has continuously spun and spins day in and day out.

What made selection of candidate difficult and tiring is that Tonj Community did not sit to choose their one and only affirm candidate. Selection simply relied on friends choosing friends. Friends campaigning for friends; friends talking random talks about others; friends leading samples of political rallies, friends had the capacity trying to make their own candidate a winner. And therefore, more than required applicants submitted their credentials to the decision-making authority in the presidency.

However, the announcement brokered the appointment of Hon. Akech as governor after submission was considered a “sad-side-like” to applicants who didn’t make it with their supporters. While the winner is one with single support whereas huge numbers have scattered after screened out contenders has made the environment shaky and thorny. Majority whose candidates never survived the selection process have decided to impose frustrations in writing, gossiping, ignoring the fact that the decision-making authority has paramount reason for its decision. Also, the golden opportunity contested for is concluded; the winner is nominated and appointed; so it should be considered as time to turn the page, a page where every citizen should line up behind the appointed winner instead of resisting the outcome.

At this point, this was where the diehard defeated supporters and other civil servant leaders decided to rewrite history of the chosen legendary leader, Hon. Akech Tong. The rivals became creative to paint their own historical picture about him. There are those who claimed that he was born and raised in Gogrial East, got married there and therefore he shouldn’t in a sense be appointed as Tonj’s governor. Still others point fingers arguing that though the Honourable represented them in the past when Warrap was still one, he can’t continue doing that because his background has to be cleared first. But with those who disagree with this group clearly stated that history can’t be rewritten on interests, it should be on facts. And the facts are that Hon. Akech was indeed raised in the mentioned area; however, this won’t disqualify him.

As this narrative examples help on foreseeable future for Tonj State, it is time to take an obstruction with equal degree of urgency. Also there is a call for to look into consequences face in keeping engine of critics running without controllable strength of mind within Tonj Community. In other words, it is healthy and advisable not to engage in destructive practices when other constructive alternatives exist. Conversely, there is a need to reconcile our differences, analyze our thoughts, and scrutinize our paths while aiming at called for objectives rather at the objections.

It is valid to take into account that any person may experience ineffective measures during a given situation. Nevertheless, with strong feelings against past experience which may illustrates misbalancing in the process, still doubts are almost always cast, but with due itinerary, differences are solvable when we allow ourselves humble time to identify issues in question. Putting it other ways, sometimes there is a need to flush ideas into a fertile environment where hopeful yielding is possible. Cohesive bridge that binds us together must stand unshaken. In short, it is not about victory argument; it is a compromising sense of ease. At this time around, it’s imperative to patriotically reason, have a peace of mind, and allow everyone to pull-push a collaborative wagon. And such spirit of unity and harmony cannot be left to some individuals alone; it is a universal duty.

Per time at our laps and as we speak, Hon. Akech is a legal appointed governor for critics and supporters equally combined. Riding in an opposing van alone questioning on anything about him is one thing and looking at Tonj and its future is another. But taking both Tonj and personality, we could conclude that it is all about Tonj’s future. No one is prepared to wash down the other but to embrace one another. That is to invest in future building, jumpstart outmoded community to function and act rightfully again. To simply reach out for modern-civilized lives and to do this, our collaboration is swiftly demanded.

And that is not all. Robust criticisms should be discouraged or limited in favour of other options available. As a critic you might argue that giving up censoring may means letting go of your roles, which is correct; however, healthy criticism leads to educative learning with less consequential backlash. And this is the core for this wake up call for unifying our personal and political differences exist for the betterment of greater Tonj State.

In reality, nobody is free of criticisms, of blames, of making mistakes, even God; the highness almighty has no room in the houses of heresies fellows. One could be tempted to go red, sharply questioning louder on how mistaken God had mistreated others especially during Noah era and other times. Though God is assumed known, it is purely on likeliness, yet, frustrations, angers may force and driven an individual to lock up minds and decides to reach for insults, insulting him, blaming God for this and that happened in his control and has failed to reverse them.

His opponents, for example, who perished in the Sodom and Gomorrah hell, would today request for both compensations and apology from God because they would say he did inhumane crimes against humanity, torture, and severe pain with general genocide-like wipe out. How about the human rights, what ground it would stand with him today? The same applies to Amnesty International, the watch dog in rights, democracy… critics from democratic perspective would argue that they were unfairly treated, they were abused; legal issues would have said that their lives were taken without consent! And so forth.

To me and those with common sense, decision making authority deserved appreciation from us all as Tonjese because it has listened to our calls and demands; originally ours was not who should rule Tonj but Tonj as a community must be given its state. It is granted! Leaders come and go, state stayed. You may never know; you could be the next. So cease complaining and prepare for your future chance.

In the end, and again, it is important to grant an established epoch for adjustment in order to provide time to prominent leaders to sow seeds of commitment in service delivery in an allowable period. That period would determine weaknesses, strengths and such would help us make accountable measures against the person.

But as we moan, there are immaculate files, purely plain and empty about the person in question, and it is not plateful to slackly based rightful opinions on mere assumptions that the Honourable has questionable background, education level is terrible, has high temper, and therefore the newly wedded state is thrown to the wild without tangible supportive evidences.

Given all doubts placed against the Honourable Governor from sound minded folks as well as from those whose influences have turned line of one voice into troublesome concert are considered having a valid point but had played it in unrealistic tune, which may strongly take unacceptable grading.

While affirming critics’ point with sense of doubt, their positions are being respected. Yet and anecdotally, let’s take such claims raised against the honourable governor into consideration.

First at most, personal interests and nation interests are distinguishable entities in this game. The Honourable Governor is for both nation and community interest, not the other way around. If he doesn’t fit, his incompetence would stand a reality after proven era; not at the infancy stage. Personal interests are individualistic, on the other hand, available for single gain with favourable specific plans. Singly, such interests are welcome with low weigh from public perspective. Anyone with personal feelings is free to express them at the same time responsible for them. And therefore, getting too personal in politics is considered agitating which may leads to legal confrontational measures. Additionally, one maybe tempted to pinpoint on unknown facts about someone; however, such facts would be available for digestion, tested on public opinions, legal act in order to empirically worth wrap up with supported numerous details.

Second, uneducated scenario is a claim unproven buyable in a number of senses. The governorship post is about service delivery to the vulnerable and elites beneficial population. Prominent politicians, big business persons, even well known magicians with wealth and popularity are in category of elites whereas the ordinary citizens from born today to the elderly are considered vulnerable. These rightful citizens are in urgent need of service delivery; they don’t have to be fed with empirical researched evidences in order to function; all they need is to take resources closer, establish an accountable system, eye on deliverable process with a turned on transparent means of check and balance method for them, the entitled beneficiaries, to have every step in the systematic process saved on top of their lungs. In other words, make the beneficiaries own that established system.

Once more and as a reminder, the civil servants who have governed ahead of this high up leader were not chosen or appointed because they had doctoral degrees, my friends, education is an asset, they were chosen on experience basis with self-esteemed, sound mind whilst service delivery is a requirement.

But taking time to compare current governor with previous leaders, he would still stand tall in his yard. Nobody and prove me wrong on this if you would, has ever stayed, overstayed in the field for over thirty days with his citizens, sitting under trees, ate anything that local population uses as a means for survival, leaving all luxury offices equipped with air conditioning, fridges filled to the brink, environment is supper friendly and risk to go to the untamed place in remote villages. The Hon. Akech has done that. Isn’t this credit to him? That is patriotic civil service delivery in action.

To uncomfortable folks with him, political post is a temporary spot. Legally, it is for six months to a number of years which deliverable service would be of assistance and determine incumbent to cling into the power. So hold onto your thoughts and let us welcome him. Taking on also the Hon. Rizig, the current Lol State governor and Luis Lobong of Lamuornyang state who served for over limited terms for example have overstayed in power not because they have over educated or over qualified beyond reach but simply they have delivered and they might have also played their political cards appropriately. Any person with beyond heaven and earth degrees with proven experience, your opportunity is never perished, it is awaiting you. Gather your muscles and kick in next time after your brother Akech has exhausted his chance.

Third, it is out of harm’s way to also look at the thorny claim on the Honourable Akech background. Young netters and elderly who murmured lowly have made a firm point that he is not one of us in Tonj, perhaps at this time he is appointed as governor because he has been representing in Warrap government as Tonjese.

In short, it is self-interest political propaganda; in a wider range, let’s together listen to history. This writer may not dwell much on this for reason that facts are plain and straightforward. For one or more, he is considered one of us in Tonj based on lived up-to date history.

Under former governor Hon. Nyandeng Malek, he was appointed Tonj South County Commissioner, during which Hon. Yol Mayar Mareng deputized Hon. Nayandeng. His tenure as a commissioner for Tonj South County headquartered in Tonj Town, number of changes were seen. One of the tangible changes is Tonj South County Office he built; one of the well designed and structured two storage space offices. An office which left unfinished due to an opportunity open up for him, as deputy governor, appointed by the same Hon. Nyandeng who appointed him as a commissioner. He did not relax while at the head quarters in Kuacjok; he has been seen moving up and down reconciling communities such as Aguok and Apuk. A mission he managed to accomplish through devoted approach. It is add up credit on achievement lists.

In a presidential degree, which does normal political changes, his boss, Hon. Nyandeng Malek was reshuffled off and was appointed as Warrap State Caretaker Governor. And his factual file didn’t end there. On October 2nd 2015, the Republic of South Sudan expanded its 10 states to 28 states in a presidential establishment order. On the Christmas Eve, 24th December 2015, implementation for created 28 states was implemented and therefore, governors for the new states were appointed. The Honourable Akech Tong was named as new Tonj State governor. What are so unique about his political ladder are not the gradual widening positions; it is steadiness.

Now based on this factual narration, who is less caring to turn blind eyes on these indisputable facts? Why denying him at this moment when he has been along serving Tonjese as Tonj representative in Warrap state, a state administered by two districts: Gogrial and Tonj, which its leadership alternates in governorship position, once a district taken up governorship other deputize. Let’s be realistic and logical sometimes.

Yet again, we are after political terms annexed to service delivery, our role as we speak as people of Tonj, in my view, is to rally behind, monitoring closely, counsel him and guide him in order to help us take our remote state into the next level. Let’s start planning for our people; look into their needs and plan to address them critically, reasonably and convincingly; that is to be judgmental enough when dealing with concrete issues.

To top it off, please make sense first; own yourself, your words, and your approaches. Even in a concert seen at a distant might look disarranged, but participants and musicians dance within the rhythms not outside the note. Plays it cools play it right.

In summary and to conclude, Tonj is a place housed all of us indiscriminately; both comfortable and uncomfortable individuals assemble for a common purpose in a “house of common.” We are who we beautifully believe and visualize in normative values that we hold as our self made evidence endure in vast backgrounds where differences in opinions are unifying forces which ethically shape us and made us stand united and vigilant. Tonj has remained high though shadowed in disfavouring ways; infrastructure is nil, local mobile network services are not enough; major hospitals, schools, water, sanitation and hygiene required immediate attention.

Almost all we have is zero scratch services. With this, no time to squander, we must collaborate, reflect together, plan to kick start the development’s engine. Fellows, to plan well with accuracy or with calculative approach, we can change the image of our state and we can do this when we put disparities aside, pick up unity cards, and aim at erection of laid district so that in number of years with time, skyrocketing as a term would hold its meaning in Tonj, because zero services is changeable. Let us now sit under one umbrella and this umbrella is Tonj.

Also, let’s welcome the new era of change into our own instincts, to unanimously embrace ourselves, to forgive one another and forget the past claims in order to drink in a simple acceptance cup of unity. And when we are united, we can rise above obstacles and any problems whether big or small become doable.

For a second time, trash differences, plant suitable seeds for unity, forgiveness, hard work and peace in order to fulfil taking services to our people while united and having accepted to rally behind the universal torch for unity. The Hon. Governor Akech is tasked to care for Tonj as an umbrella under which we all lied.


With concerns, feelings, queries, this writer is reachable at aropmadit@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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