Under the curtain of Alfred Taban, the lead journalist turned politician

Posted: July 28, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, KON Joseph Leek, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

Kon Joseph Leek, Juba, South Sudan

opinion matters

July 28, 2017 (SSB) — Alfred Taban is not such a too local man of whom you would hear his name and goes to sleep. I knew this man way back in the early 2000s as a BBC Correspondence for Sudan. I didn’t know where he lived neither did I know him but it was okay anyway because great men are only heard, they are hardly seen. He was an eloquent speaker whose voice and wit would increase your penchant for listening. The man whose great work influenced and enticed me to journalism at the times I needed to be a Doctor, medical doctor!

No journalistic leaf that Alfred has left unturned and no journalistic mountain and river that he has not climbed and crossed. There is no doubt that Taban the journalist has finally leaped out of his cherished profession of journalism to a new hole of empty noise, hypocrisy, and bribery – politics!

I am happy that he is representing the great place I studied and grew up from, kajo-keji (Kangapo 1) and I have no doubt in the representation of Kajo-keji, it’s fully represented. That side of the country whether Kangapo 1&2, Kansuk, Kendiri and Bori hardly run short of hard working and genius people only that Juba has made itself the immediate spectacle for easy abstraction that deviates the regime to only pick from here …and not there.

Juba is to its best exploiting the former Central Equatoria State to the detriment of others when indeed there is more to know of Kajo-keji, Yei and Lanya whose loyalty to the government is better than or equates to that of Juba despite not represented in the central government as Juba!

I personally have no problem with Taban joining politics because his experience, knowledge, and age qualifies him

If it were to be in elections that Taban Alfred comes up, believe me, he would go through, I have never thought of Alfred to join the institutions of such cheap appointments of MPS who are instead supposed to be elected, these appointment things mostly makes one operate limitedly under someone’s control, failure to do so is a dismissal. I don’t want to see it happen but should it happen then it would better happen some distance away from Alfred Taban

It would be thought by others that he has jumped out and completely escaped the menace wrath of the security apparatus against the journalist where they hunt them as if they were antelopes to simply zip their mouths but no, Taban has eventually ended up choosing another path of being hunted, opposition. He is not just an opposition but the tough talking opposition who would keep talking about the respect of human rights and the press freedom as he lamented in BBC weekend interviews

I don’t know why he chose that path but Alfred knows more and though he lamented some points in his BBC interviews, there are questions that he answered but he was more equivocal in answering; why now of all times to join politics? Why opposition?

Won’t this make one concludes as that Alfred Taban is simply fulfilling what he has been presumed in his writing that he has been much under-rating the regime for violence, human rights violations, Lanya issue, Equatorial land grabbing and all while limiting his criticisms to the government’s arch nemesis, the rebels/IO? And how angel enough is the IO than the IG anyway to become such a choice despite heinous crimes they committed? Or is Alfred Taban choosing a better Devil?

For Taban just joined politics yesterday, maybe he will clear the weather by telling us the concrete journalistic view point other than walking us around the wall that he is an SPLM and not aware of this thing called SPLA IO as he termed it in last week Eye radio interviews.

He went ahead in the same interviews by telling us that he was approached by the 1st. V.P Gen. Taban and The IO’S SG Dr. Dhieu Mathok and asked him to fill up a vacant place which he gracefully embraced. How would Alfred still tell us not to know IO when he surely was approached.

We all know that before the IO emerged, it was SPLM and for the matter of fact even Taban, I mean Alfred Taban can agree with me that there is SPLM IO and it has its chairman and SG who met him for consultation to become an MP which he accepted and so he is one of them (IO) and the man seems to have joined it outside his will that he still calls himself an SPLM! No one is denying anyone to becoming whoever or from joining whichever party but we first need to know how.

SPLM is not united yet, Arusha agreement is not effective yet so it is quite puzzling for a person of certain party to suddenly be a member of another party which has not yet come into a coalition, we all know that the government is a unitary one but the institutions that formed this unitary transitional government have not coalesced yet. They are still separate institutions

Our yesterday’s celebrated journalist is our today’s politician in the opposition just like another celebrated editor Nhial Bol Aken who also joined IO in 2015, won’t the authorities not regard the journalists as members of opposition since their elders are joining the opposition wing and are promising to still protect them (the journalists) there?

I was touched by the word he said in the Eye radio interview that what is important to him is not the IO but Kajo-keji, this was a  word from a journalist, not a politician but the question is; will that statement stand the test of time? If he is really sure, won’t he be sailed away by the temptations of that house (NLA)? Won’t he end up saving only his head instead of the people he dearly promised to save, the people of Kajo-keji in particular and South Sudan at large?

All in all Kajo-keji is fully represented in the IO by a lead journalist and this journalist who was the editor in chief of Juba monitor has been in and out of jailed for his writing so to my opinion, Taban is simply fulfilling what he has been critical of, he is taking his struggle to the new stage using a ticket of opposition

Kon Joseph Leek has a bachelor degree in Mass Communication from St. Lawrence University Uganda and PGD in Linguistics from the University of Juba, South Sudan. While at St. Lawrence University, he saved as a Speaker for International students and thereafter as the Student’s Guild Vice president. Joseph currently lives in Juba. He can be reached on j.konleek@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is 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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