Contributor's Simon Y. Yel South Sudan Warrap

What Will Governor Akech Tong and His Cabinet Do in 30 Days In The Office?

By Simon Yel Yel,

Akech Tong, the outgoing governor of Warrap state after Salva Kiir orders to divide the state(Photo: file)
Akech Tong, the outgoing governor of Warrap state after Salva Kiir orders to divide the state(Photo: file)

Oct 9, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Before I go into what I want to write, I would first love to preface this article with a few clarifications. I have taken a long sabbatical leave from commenting on Warrap politics, and it is real fun watching the drama of recycling, sacking, appointing and so forth of Warrap politics from panorama. Having had my own share in engineering field in private sector (I do not need a job from government); I want to accentuate that my praises or criticism shouldn’t be translated into Yel looking for a job. Some cronies and acolytes are conditioned to fire darts and brads at maverick writers and sometimes they tend to brand writers wrongly.

It is less than a week now since governor Akech has sworn in cabinet. Warrap state has been known for politics of different sorts. Following the appointment of Hon. Akech, many people had vowed that there shall be no more dirty politicking and meaningless opposition again; those who have rigged themselves into the cabinet will be forgiven and given time to deliver services to the people. In short, there was going to be a political honeymoon of stability in the state.

Unfortunately, President Salva Kiir gave the Warrap politicians something to talk of again by dividing Warrap into three states. Very tough and blessing-in-disguise homework! Now no one dares to talk about what should be the priorities of this formed cabinet. The talks of the day are about the new states and who are to be cabinet ministers and governors. However, I hold the contrary view, not least because as one old adage goes, one bird in hand is worth two in the bush! I feel that we still have business with this cabinet. We are still one Warrap for the next 30 days and we ought to know what the priorities of this cabinet are?

If, as former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson once said, a day is a long time in politics, then 30 days is more than a lifetime in Warrap politics. In politics, a reputation is built over a lifetime, and that built reputation can be thrown into political oblivion if you committed an error in your leadership in just a day. This thirty days is long time in politics for the cabinet to do something tangibles and memorable to remain in the history of Warrap state and also for their legacy. This presidential order to create more states reminds one of what a high commander in SPLA said in 2005 when Dr. John Garang died on helicopter crush.

This commander had bitter misunderstanding with Dr. John Garang in the bush; he was jailed, tortured and sentenced to fire squad. With help of his friends, he was sneaked out and ran to Khartoum. Upon hearing the death of Garang on BBC, he screamed and said “now for us who knew that Garang is a bad leader and we came to Khartoum for our dearest lives, no one will believe in us. People will say that we are traitors. I wish God could talk to people, I would have begged Him to let Garang just rule southern Sudan for a period of a year so that everyone can be able to see by himself or herself how bad he is.”

Similarly, I wish if this presidential order had come in 2017. In this cabinet, there are some MPs and politicians who were very critical of the previous administration and now they are ministers. It would be very interesting to see what they will do in the ministries they are assigned to. Many eyes were projected on them whether they will make any difference from former ministers or they will fall in the same category.

When it comes to describing the government in power, people in Warrap state always thrive in superlatives. Politicians in power do the same. Even if Jesus Christ, who loves everyone, were to be appointed by president Salva Kiir to govern Warrap, still some people can oppugn his ability and strength to govern Warrap.

To supporters, this cabinet is the best cabinet that Warrap have ever had. To opponents, it is the worst cabinet that they have ever seen in their lives. Even though 98% of the cabinet ministers and advisors are new faces in Warrap politics, there are still those who would swear, without any shred of evidence, that this cabinet will not do anything. There are also those who believe that with this cabinet, Warrap is on right track to development and rule of law.

But the presidential order on Friday has totally changed the politics of Warrap and how people ambuscaded this cabinet to hold them to account should they turn out to be like previous ministers.

Nevertheless, it is good to ask ourselves: what will Akech and his cabinet do in 30 days in theirs offices? The answers will rotate among these two: the ministers who have rigged or pouched their ways into cabinet will dare not to do something rather than making sure that they have put some coins in their pockets, while those who look far with long term political calculations will make sure that they have done something good in a month time for remembrance and also a credit or ticket for them to get another ministerial seat in next governments.

But the best answer is in their hands. Honorable ministers and Governor Akech, for the sake of history and your own legacy, what can you really accomplish in the next 30 days as a cabinet of Warrap state? The ball is in your court; history is watching and we are watching too.

The author can be reached for comments at simonyel55@yahoo.com

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