Opinion Sirir Gabriel


By Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut,

Leaders of South Sudan's SPLM party(photo: supplied)
Leaders of South Sudan’s SPLM party(photo: supplied)

July 3, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — We still elect leaders based on their popularity or conspicuous consumption and not on their values.

“I suffered for south Sudan and therefore, I am entitled to political power.” This has been the mantra that we have been hearing since the independent of our country and look at where it has led us. There is the belief that, because we have personally sacrificed for something we are,therefore, entitled to position of authority and political power regardless of our competency.For me. that is the reason why today, Africa is suffering from poor and incompetent political leadership.

Our case here in south Sudan clearly demonstrates this, and we are even at a stage where individuals are refusing to let go,simply because they feel that they were appointed by God to cause the suffering that we have gone through.That is not acceptable.

On my opinion, as long as we think that sacrifice entitles us to leadership positions we will continue to get people who may have the courage to confront situations and challenge the status quo, and hopefully there are those competent leaders who can do that.

I heard some really silly stories of why people think they are entitled to be elected.”I built this hospital and that school So you must elected me”. So said one member of parliament I know. Others think that by giving out gifts and food at rallies,they are,therefore,qualified to lead.

This has shown me how politically-backward we still are.For goodness sake,how can we give someone the responsibility to create our future simply because they build a Beer company or gave out airtime vouchers at a rally? An example being the recent stampede at a rally in a Freedom Square,where people where literally fighting for transport money.How shameful.

People like Nelson Mandela,Martin Luther King Jnr,Mahatma Gandhi among other, will always remind me of true leadership. They are people who sacrificed for principles and for the benefit of all without necessarily expecting to benefit personally or to be worshiped for me the role they may have played in causing change.

Of course,we have our own leaders here in south Sudan who deserve respect.These are the thousands of ordinary south Sudanese who sacrificed their lives during the liberation struggle,but today they are hardly remember and heard of; People like comrade Samuel Gai Tut, Cde.Lokurnyang,Abdallah Chuol Deng among others good leaders.We have war veterans the wounded heroes who are mostly unrecognized today, (they goes with name not confirmed) who suffered tremendously during the war,but they were fighting for the independent of south Sudan.And not for a position.How honourable.

Unfortunately their sacrifices have been derailed.

As we move in a new political dis pension,we need to be circumspect on issues of leading our country into the next generation.We must be clear in our minds what personal values are required to lead a new Federal Republic of south Sudan.

I worry a lot that our expectations will hardly be met,as long as we elect leaders based on their popularity or conspicuous consumption and not on their values.The kind of people who say”elect me because I did this and that for you” are most likely to forget why they are put to power as soon as they attain this objective. This means that corruption, greed and non-accountability will continue.

South Sudan does not need such people.

The author is a student of political science living in Egypt he can be easily reach through his email;sirirgabrielyiei3@gmail.com.or on twiter @ThreeGabriel Tel:+201115133229

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