President Kiir should come out of his “Comfort Zone” before 2018 elections

Posted: October 28, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël in Ariik Atekdit, Columnists, Featured Articles, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Ariik Atekdit Mawien, Juba, South Sudan

kiirdiit

President Salva Kiir Mayaardit, the first president of the republic of South Sudan

October 28, 2016 (SSB) —- Since the independence of South Sudan in 2011, the South Sudanese President, Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit has missed to tour the nation even at the time his physical appearance would be mostly needed. Many of his supporters have kept supporting him for so long until they become victims of why the supported Kiir. Kiir’s supporters too became hated and labeled as liars in the communities they live because the leader they claim to follow was neither heard nor visible in their villages.

 When the country got its independence the President was supposedly wanted to address the traditional population at their traditional villages.  It would be rather better and more important for the president to speak his own words directly to people that were happy for having achieved their freedom from the Arabs in the north, a business that President Kiir did not allow to occur.

Years went and the President could only visit regional and international presidents in their palaces more than often. His Ministers have stayed in hotels for years instead of delivering services to the Nation. The Ministers and other government top officials have travelled several times abroad instead of visiting their constituencies though they really have exhausted government account to facilitate most of their unofficial travels. Kiir has visited Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Kampala or Washington more than he could visit Terekeka town just north of Juba town which is only few miles away from J1 Presidential Residence.

South Sudan’s Presidential Palace of J1 has become a comfort zone that President Kiir doesn’t want to leave for a while only to visit elsewhere in his country. I beg the President to decide fairly to tour Greater Upper Nile, Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr el Ghazal in the name of the newly created 28 states and peace mobilization campaign. This would sound much better when the authority makes it as an initiative for TGONU.

In the true sagacity, most of South Sudan rural populations are just marginalized in a similar way the Jalaba administration did in Khartoum. With so many people hoping that things would work well when they elected what they thought to be a listening President of South Sudan; things quickly turned another way around and Kiir refused to visit the nation’s proud citizens in the villages may be until today, yet these were the people who elected him to the Palace in 2010 elections.

The question is why? Why isn’t the President touring the nation? Does he fear the rampant insecurity in rural areas and maybe in states capitals? If the last question is true: then for how long will President Kiir wait to see the security improving in villages to plan for a tour? Any leader on earth can visit his people at bad and good times because it is only in front of your own followers that one can feel more proud than ever.

Undeniably most of misunderstandings have occurred at states and counties administrative levels with some of his diehard supporters turning against him and try to destroy the national politics which turns bad eyes onto the leader of the nation. But how do you refute such misunderstandings when you are not there to explain your correct position about a certain situation?

His supporters and loyalists have supported him for so long all in vain.  It should not be as simple as this for a leader to let go his supporter without risking or struggling to maintain and sustain them. They have waited for roads to arrive to their nearby town centres but nothing has occurred. Clinics and schools that were pledged during the Independence Day had not been talked about now 5 years are gone. The electorates are abandoned while the nation’s economy drips out. Why? What is the problem?

South Sudan is too big to be ruled silently in Juba without visiting states and rural populations countrywide in a move of just collecting their positive views about the country’s management. The rural population cannot just assume the situation Kiir is in and continue to maintain their faithfulness.  It only needs him (Kiir) to appear to explain what has gone wrong with promises and pledges. Today in a country we love, it is wild politics and gossiping that has captured the majority of South Sudan territory including Juba itself and there are no men on the ground to dislodge such.

We thought that the President would be celebrating the independence ceremonies in different states year after year as it happened when South Sudanese used to commemorate the CPA anniversary. CPA’s schedule was a good move because every governor in turn would make a lot of development before the arrival of President to show that he was working hard for development and services delivery therefore benefiting the local population.  But did that happen for the last 5 years of South Sudan independence? The answer is no. Why? God knows! But the best answer is maybe with the President and his closed aides.

It is time for Mr. President this coming dry season to mobilize funds in order to plan a countrywide tour; so that he can talk directly to the people he rules. The South Sudanese local populations are illiterate suffering from poverty and war displacement. The South Sudan local population is where we get the fathers and mothers of the soldiers that Kiir calls today as his national army.

The local population has no Television screens or radios to get President’s press releases and speeches. They don’t read newspapers in rural areas and they too don’t have internet connection to expect that they must be getting what journalists and other social media users post on the media outlets. They remain totally blind and deaf to know what the President plans for them, yet they have contributed their sons to fight so strongly to help Kiir remain in the Presidency. What mistake have they done for the President to refuse to visit them?

It was expected that in 2015 the President would visit the scene of petroleum tanker explosion in Western Equatoria where over two hundred people lost their lives in a flaming fire but it went in vain. South Sudanese were expecting too that Mr. President would visit the scene in 2012 when the South Sudan’s heroic forces captured Panthou/Heglig from hands of Jalaba but it was Bashir of Sudan rather who proudly visited Panthou after the SPLA were called to withdraw from the area only to call the nation as insects.

Again Malakal, Bor and Bentiu fell into the hands of SPLA in very many heavy wars but he never appears. These people always do so many good things but the President does not seem to encourage the suffering population after him. Loyalty is not natural but it is something that must be nursed and comforted by a leader or else doesn’t remain permanent for there is no permanent friend or permanent enemy in politics.

I think it is not enough for the President to address the small population in Juba at Dr Garang Mausoleum and claim that he has addressed the Nation. South Sudan as a nation cannot fit that small ground Near Custom Market, it is a population more than the claimed 12 million people and they need to be reached by a person who has put the hat of leadership on his head.

Today that the country is implementing ARCISS in Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU), Mr. Kiir must convince his deputy Taban Deng Gai and Gen. Wani Igga to speak to the nation in a method of touring the state capitals of the newly created 28 states countrywide.

They can best do it in a way that they can convey their message of peace and unity and convince the nation’s 64 ethnic communities to reconcile. The idle sitting in Juba’s J1 Palace cannot rescue this country from its anguishes.

We should not leave things to happen alone as they wish but we must plan in order to make South Sudan a country of our own dreams. We don’t need to wait until a Kawaja (white) administrator comes to tell us what we want to do.

President Kiir should come out of his Comfort Zone of J1 before 2018 Elections if certainly he plans to contest for elections. It is more important for the ruling SPLM party not to leave South Sudanese local population at astray. The population in Juba is more of a cosmopolitan composition that the President cannot totally depend on.

You can reach the author via his email: Atekdit Mawien <ariqdudic@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.

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Comments
  1. Thon Baak says:

    You should also mention, Bahr El Ghazal on the list of places he visited and South Africa. Of course, his (SPLA) captured the country for him and he is comfortable in J1 palace. His only concerns is prisedence and prisedence only. Would be wast of Gov’t’s resources to visit unimportant region like Upper Nile. Nothing there only oil, according to his body language. Let him address former Khartoum gangs problems so called nation security agents (unknown gunmen) against cetizens of this country here in Juba. Only Commendar was weak minded during SPLM/SPLA time in the bush and he will never never learn any lesson.

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  2. Thon Baak says:

    You should also mention, Bahr El Ghazal on the list of places he visited and South Africa. Of course, his (SPLA) captured the country for him and he is comfortable in J1 palace. His only concerns is presidency and presidency only. Would be wast of Gov’t’s resources to visit unimportant region like Upper Nile. Nothing there only oil, according to his body language. Let him address former Khartoum gangs problems so called nation security agents (unknown gunmen) against cetizens of this country here in Juba. Only Commendar was weak minded during SPLM/SPLA time in the bush and he will never never learn any lesson.

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  3. Dengda says:

    Ariik, you said it all. I hope the closes aides will whisper this message into his ear.

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  4. If President Salva Kiir Mayardit continues at his current political trajectory, I’m afraid he might not win the upcoming elections.Even a small kid can win over him if he continues like this?

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  5. Arik Dhor Arik Mawien says:

    you got a convencing point Mr, Ariik Ateekdit but the bad thing is because he our president will not see it or he will hear about and took no attention to it otherwise it worse what his closest aides contribute, thank for wonderful orating of the view of our silent suffering sources of everything to which results of any deed dont favour. feeding citizen with such fair ideas defind your career gentleman.

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  6. Hello Earlier Commentators, are you pushing of the state of Somalia for South Sudan or pushing for the betterment of South Sudan? In the current State of affairs, I don’t see anyone else that can rescue South Sudan than President Kirr.

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