Open letter to President Kiir: I am willing to serve as Governor of Unity State
By Dak Buoth Riek-Gaak,
June 5, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) — I derived this thought from the conversation I had with someone in the dream on 31st May 2020. We met and he told me I would have been appointed as a governor if I had expressed my interest to the President. I asked him when were the state Governors appointed? He replied saying they were appointed a day before yesterday. I then moved my hand to pick my phone to check or confirm these newly appointed governors in the internet for I was a bid in doubt. As I straight my right hand while in deep slumber, I hit the bed, and that was how I woke up only to realized it was a mere dream. I would have resumed my sleep soon after but I hurt one of my fingers. I rose up and sat on the bed to reflect and perseveres the pain at the same time. While i was still sitting down meditating, I asked myself this: assume it was not a dream, who could have told me this news? I said none, this can only happen in dream. At times people earn ideas via personal reflection, dreams, books and stories they heard et cetera. I avoid being dismissive of dreams like before. I said it gave me an idea of expressing my interest to serve in the position of governor. I then ignored the question as to whether if I did express my willingness will I be appointed by the President. Even though my colleague in the dream did not mention the name of the President that he was referring to, I believe he means President Kiir. And of course the state I would be appointed as governor is Unity State where I came from. Normally, the dreams come from the things that bother someone. I never thought of working in the current administration let alone me being appointed to this highest office of the governor. I have only been pressurizing the parties to appoint the ten state governors speedily, and in accordance with the Addis Ababa peace accord signed on 12th September 2018. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said ‘‘I have a dream.’’. This was my dream. Let me now explicitly and officially express my interest to you Mr. President Kiir that I’m willing to serve as unity State governor because I have the right and abilities to perform better. So far, the ten state governors have not yet been appointed and nobody has expressed his willingness to serve as governor of Unity State. Only a few are murmuring about becoming a governor of unity state but no one has come public like i did today. I am the first person to express his interest to serve our people. An old English adage says an ‘‘earlier bird catches the worm’’. I hope to be the bird and not the worm.
Before offering me this opportunity to serves, I know you would want to understand who I am and what I have been doing in South Sudan so as to arrive at objective decision. At the onset, I would like to tell you that, I was a consistent critic to you and your SPLM-led government. In all that I have said verbally or none verbally, I have always accused you of being the first culprit that have done things wrong in our nascent country South Sudan. I have said time and again that you have failed South Sudan, and that you must rescue this country by you stepping down immediately. On my part, I had also failed to identify a suitable person who can replace you at the moment. Hence, you must remain and wait until when citizens get a chance to elect the leader of their choice in free and fair plebiscite. In the meantime we can work under you to achieve things that can take our people to the election. Having said that, let me now mentioned my ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES, PROBLEMS OF UNITY STATE, MY OBJECTIVES AND CONCLUSIONS.
I have few advantages, one being that I am an informed youth who can drive developmental agenda with speed like jet in the right directions. I think my being a youth alone in this quest for governorship is an advantage to me. In the New African magazine of February/ March edition 2020, they say ‘‘Africa’s challenges require the new thinking that only young people can bring.’’ The Africa Union Youth Charter, adopted in 2006 by African Union member states in Gambia, is political and legal document intended to give Youth a chance in decision making. I am social democrat with a passion in social justice. I will certainly prioritize the interest of the minority and vulnerable groups such as widows, women, youth, elderly and persons with disabilities in our society. So far the youth are well represented in the national government, and it will sound good if you can appoint a youth as governor at the state levels.
On the other hand I have three or four main disadvantages, one being that I am single who is not a member of any organized political party in South Sudan. Also, I never serve in any political position before. Again, I had been your consistent critic in South Sudan. Nonetheless, these disadvantages cannot hinder my delivery of services as governor of Unity State. They can only affect my appointment by you. The issue of me being single is simple but serious in the south Sudan political landscape. But if people will have an issue having governor who is single I can marry my fiancé days before you announce me as a governor. This is something I have been postponing for reasons known to me. But if I would be told that it is condition than I will do it sooner than later. You would recalled in 1991, the first Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar married his second British wife, Late Emma McCune a day before he was crowned as a Chairman and commander in chief of the SPLM-Nasir faction on 28th August 1991. So I can even announce mine day/s to my coronation as governor of Unity State. What I will find very hard to do is to join or form a political party as condition to be appointed as a governor. As of now I have no ability to form a political party, and it will be hard for me to join an existing political party whose manifesto and ideology I am not conversant with. I believe that we must keep our personal political ideals and ideologies pure. If we join other political parties for sake of winning and or seeking political appointment than we shall get confused and termed as political harlots.
PROBLEMS OF UNITY STATE
I cannot express an interest to be governor of unity state if I don’t know the myriad challenges facing the residents of Unity State. However, knowing the problems alone is not sufficient. One must have rough solutions to the problems he or she knows. Luckily, I have rough ideas or solutions to these perennial problems. I am not going there as an Angel, and thus I will work with other like-minded compatriots to revised and devised solutions to these problems facing our people. If you appoint a person who is an idea bankrupt he will always disturb church leaders to pray for solution to these men made problems. Therefore, you must pick someone like me who will read and consult to get quick solutions to these challenges. As a regular observer of an emerging events in South Sudan and Unity State in particular, i know many challenges affecting the impoverished residents of Unity State at home and in the diaspora. In my writings I have divided these problems into two categories namely current and chronic problems.
There are current and chronic problems threatening the lives of residents at the moment. The current problems are very severe than the chronic ones, and hence they need to be dealt with first appropriately. The current problems are as follows; covid-19 disease, violence communal conflict, cattle rustlings, flood, displacement of persons, absence of county and state leaderships. Once the state leadership is formed and you place me as governor, I will soon engage and embark on wide consultation with various stakeholders on how to approach these problems holistically. As a youthful governor, I promised to move within and around Unity State to bring these cattle rustling and violence communal conflicts to an end within short time. I can also develop a department that would work with relevance international and local NGOS to deal with emergencies like flood and displacement of persons. I will select members with expertise on disease control both locally and international. If possible I can even go up to Havana Cuban to import doctors that would help us in this combat against corona virus. The other current problems are absence of national army, national police and National assembly both at state and national level. Lack of these key agencies and organs are the cause of unnecessary insecurity in the county. We cannot pretend to run a country minus these sensitive security sectors. The unification of the national army and national police should be expedited to rescue the situation we are in.
The chronic problems of Unity State range from illiteracy, insecurity, poverty, corruption, lack of infrastructure, and poor leadership that ignore Students, Youth, Women organizations plus churches and elders of the community. Alternatively, my leadership will sit down and talk with all groups both at home and in the diaspora to make these problems becomes things of the past. At first, I will look for our great brains wherever they may be to give their recommendations on how to reinvent and reinvigorates our state to where it’s supposed to be. The solutions to these chronic problems are in the objective below.
MY SHORT AND LONG TERM OBJECTIVES
I have long and short term objectives for Unity State and the country as a whole. My short term objective is to deal with the current problems that I highlighted above. And as I deal with current problems my eyes and that of my executive or ministers will remain glued on my long term plans or objectives. In brief, my long term objective is to join the fight to bring justice, peace and reconciliation in Unity State and beyond. Secondly, I would want to lay firm foundation for a University that would be name after the first president of South Sudan. That University would be called SALVA KIIR MAYARDIT UNIVERSITY (KM). In my hundred days in office as governor, the Liech University College that had collapsed would be reconstructed and renovated. It will be my core mandate to see that all primary and secondary schools are on their feet up. I and the team will construct sport centers where youth can nurture their sport talents so as compete nationally and internationally. As soon as I settle and put my foot down, I will also make sure that Bentiu and Leer hospitals are reconstructed and modernized so that they can become the leading referral hospitals in the country. My other long term objective is to see that Unity State become the leading region when it comes to respecting human rights and media freedom. My government will always maintain top-notch policies that are Human Rights centered. Within less than three years, I will launch the Bentiu Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), or Bentiu Television Network (BTN) that will be broadcast in three languages namely, Nuer, Dinka, Arabic and English. Because information is power I would want my residents to be kept inform about the going-on at the state government. Moreover, I will have a grand plan to Build Bentiu Supper Highway starting from Panyijiar County to Mayom County. At the same time the Ports of Adok and Tayar will be upgraded to be a world class ports to ease the movement of goods and people. The next objective which is much closed to my heart is to see into it that pollution caused my oil fields is eradicated. I must work tirelessly to ensure that all victims of oil pollution in Unity State are heavily compensated speedily. Furthermore, all arms of government will reopened for work as per the constitution. I will work closely with judiciary to ensure that laziness and corruption are punished without compromise. The Rule of law and constitutionalism must be applied at levels in Unity State. In the long run i will also make sure that Ruweng people are back to occupies their place as part and parcel of Unity State community. I must make sure that everything returns to normal with the support of all stakeholders and your leadership in Juba.
Finally, I felt it’s not important to mention my birth place or the county I came from in unity state. I hope your Aides will whisper this to you. What I can say for now is that I am son of Unity State. If need be I will be more than willing to table my curriculum vitae which contain details of my little work experiences and where I was born in Unity State. What I must say here and now is that I hail from the least developed county in Unity State. If you ask Leaders from Unity State namely Dr. Riek Machar, Gen. Taban Dengai and Dr. Nguen Monytuil about the least developed county they will tell you. They say most leaders on learn on the Job. Former British Prime minister, Tony Blair once said and quote ‘‘it is an irony of political leadership that you start at your most popular but least capable; and end at your most capable but least popular.’’ I may be seen as least popular and least capable but I will make sure l leave office early when I am still popular for things that I will do. My office shall remain open to all local and international visitors. I will work together with all my critics and allies all the times. It’s at the period like this that visionary citizens like me can seek appointment in this highest office because we don’t have enough money to campaign against the octogenarian politicians who are looking for the same seat. They have money and the name, so let them wait for next election to run against us. I believe you will appoint me as the new brave unity state governor.
In conclusion, I guessed some people will laugh at me saying this cannot happen; they will say you cannot appoint me as governor of unity state because they have vested interest. They will even go ahead and say this is day time dream that won’t come to light. But those are these opinions which they are entitled to. I know that you are a human being who is capable of logical making decisions based on expressed and tangible facts. I want us to work together so that we can correct the wrongs and rots in our society. I know that talking to you is not like talking to God whom we don’t see with our naked eyes. You are South Sudanese and catholic like me. In the bible, the guys who were crucified with Jesus Christ told him to remember them when he reach and sit at the right hand of his father in heaven. Relatively, when the day of the appointment of the ten state governors comes, i want you to remember that I already expressed my willingness to serve the people of Unity State as their governor in the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) 2020.
The Writer is the Chairman of Liech community Association in Kenya; the views expressed here are his own, and he can be reached for comments via firstname.lastname@example.org
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