By Dak Buoth, Nairobi, Kenya
January 4, 2017 (SSB) — Flip-plopping or rather what people called cat-walking is not an attitude worth emulating. It is better you restraint from saying something in the first place. You should never take your words for granted or else you’re likely to be misunderstood by area residents across divides. Ideally, a conscious and accountable leader should not take a stance in the morning and reverse it at sunset. Once a formal decision is crafted and passed publicly, it must be uphold and respected to the letter and spirit.
That is not to say one cannot change his or her mind. It is normal but rare. Shifting goal posts should be avoided by people of your caliber. I’m aware that change is both natural and artificial; and that change is the phenomenon that breeds itself and facilitated by a few willing. Many things including formal agreements are subject to change, I understood nothing is rigid; and that everything is prone to adjustment and or revocation if deem appropriate. However, in event someone wants to retract, or change formal statement, there ought to be substantive and convincing reasons.
Over times, a person who makes decisions out of informed choices takes long time to change his or her mind. But people who make decisions out of emotions and undue influences require less than weeks or days to change their minds. I’m still grappling whether or not Panyijiar Aircraft and pilot case was an exercise under duress.
On 27th December 2016, your name (Tap Puot) appeared on several International publications that you detain an Aircraft and its pilot at Ganyliel Airstrip. You were reported as saying, the plane plus pilot would be release on conditions that James Gatdet Dak who was arrested and detained incommunicado be freed first. Moreover, you must have heard or saw what I wrote in the local online dailies. Soon after we heard about this development, I expressed my version accompanied with numerous suggestions on the same.
Even though I did not saw an official statement from your office on the same, but the fact that the Plane and its pilot spend one good week at Ganyliel Airstrip proved that you gave the Orders because you are the chief Administrator in the Area. I’m sure such happenings could not take place in Panyijiar jurisdiction without your knowledge unless you become inactive of late, and or unless you’re a puppet who serves the interest of Panyijiar’s detractors.
The Plane could have flied back the same day if you did not order the Arrest of the pilot in the person of Mohammed Nasser. I have many reasons to believe that you did detain the plane, pilot and its passengers on board. All I’m asking myself now is, why would you do that without an iota of impact? It’s worrying that you finally release the Aircraft and go silence without responding to subsequent sentiments meant to malign you and the Panyijiar people at large.
When I learned today via Sudan tribune.com today morning that the pilot had been freed, and that the Aircraft had already flew back where it came from, I was amazed by this sudden change of mind. First of all, if the Aircraft was to be release, an official statement would have been produced explaining what transpired, and or what necessitated the revocation of the conditions that you gave earlier. There is mismatch between you and people. You left us in darkness. There are basics you have done right before and afterward.
To add insult on injuries, when SPLM-IO’s mouthpiece in the person of Mabior Garang De Mabior denied in the local dailies, that there were no conditions given for the release of the plane, and that the claims were just propagandas, I became aghast. It means the reported conditions were untrue. Let me asked, did you really detain the plane and its pilot, and did you gave conditions? Mr. Commissioner I believe you did.
So, everyone can just assume that what you said was nothing but mere propaganda. In a nutshell, you’re now being called a Propagandist commissioner of Panyijiar. I tell you, it’s unimaginable; how could the all story that has captured international headlines dissolve like that without explanations?
In this case, I exonerated Mabior Garang, he was right for calling you names. There was nothing he said which is not true. You did detain the Aircraft and its passengers for good one week, from 27th December 2016 up to this 3rd day of January 2017. The conditions you gave were just water under the bridge; and now you can just be likened to someone who is joker, and who is doing things for fun. It was unfortunate that you do not adhere to your words; and this is great disappointment to the Panyijiar people across the globe.
Mr. Commissioner, with all due respect, I must say here and now, what you did amount to an act of inconsistency and lack of principles. I did not anticipate this timidity at this time when everyone in South Sudan regarded you as brave, bold and none retreater.
I must say without fear of contradictions, that you portray the vulnerability of Panyijiar people in all aspects. The time is now, and you should utilize our opportunities at your fingertips. Opportunities came and go. From my lenses, the Panyijiar people are on top in term of aggregate. The Panyijiar people are possessing the ball consistently but you’re very slow at scoring political goals.
Mr. Commissioner, you need to roll up your socks so as to hit the target on sight. The Panyijiar’s detractors should not be siphoning in impunity while smearing mud on our faces. Anyway, let me not veer off the topic beforehand.
Nonetheless, I do not wish readers to misquote me in this excerpt as saying that I’m against the release the Plane and its pilot, not at all. They ought to be set free as rightly done. In fact they deserve an apology or redress for being subjected to arbitrary confinement if there was no case against them. I’m from human rights background, and I respect the rights of an Accused and Arrested persons. I strongly believe that an Accused person is innocent until proven contrary.
I was simply alarmed by the inconsistency on the side of Panyijiar county Administration at large. On the other hand, I’m just expressing my concern on systematic failure of communications and sheer disrespect for your words. Our words should be our bones. Proper communication is the key; and lack of proper communication breed confusion among the governed which therefore lead to anarchy.
You have seen so far, you have been described as propagandist which is an injury to your reputations as revered leader of Panyijiar and Unity State at large.
The truth of the matter is that no single Panyiniar member expects the all case to die down without clear and substantive explanation. If you erred by detaining the pilot and the plane, it should be made clear but not that it was propaganda as earlier claimed. It’s as if nothing has happened while indeed an incident had occurred. Largely, i repeat, it was the subsequent respond which rubbishes the all story as propaganda that attracted my ire; and this is what raises concerns among the county residents.
It was not normal to detain an Aircraft and the pilot for one full week, and suddenly release it as if nothing has happened. You’re setting wrong precedent.
I wish to conclude by saying categorically; that Uncle Gatkoi Biliu who was passenger in the said plane must be set free unconditionally. His case was minor which deserve pardon. He was not a prisoner of war. The fact remains that he was just supporting the notorious SPLM/A, and to me that was his political right. Political crime requires no retribution but a change of heart.
By the time he board the plane in Juba, he knew very well that Panyijiar territory is an oppositionists’ stronghold, and he went there intentionally. He knew very well that Panyijiar County is home turf of regime changers. He has just gone home, so let’s assume he join the cause. I demand that Uncle Gatkoi Biliu be freed and allow to go about his activities without any restraint.
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