OpEd, Politics

What about a Bari leading the country?

What is wrong with a Dinka continuing with the leadership? What is wrong with a Nuer becoming the president? What is wrong with an Azande contesting for presidency and all the citizens rallying behind him? What is wrong with an Acholi becoming the president? What is wrong with a Kuku being prepared to take over the leadership from the incumbent one?

What is wrong with a Kakwa being driven by a car with two flags of South Sudan fixed on its nose, excuse my grammar. What is wrong with a Shilluk being called the Commander-In-Chief of the SSPDF? What is wrong with a Madi becoming the Chairman of the ruling party, SPLM? What is wrong with a Nyangwara becoming the Chancellor of public universities? What is wrong with other tribesmen becoming the Head of the State?

My intention is not to mention all the 64 tribes of South Sudan for someone who does not know them to know them, but it is to reveal the truth that no tribe is superior to another. No tribe is more important than another! No tribe should enjoy more privileges in the country than another! No tribe should prosper at the expense of another! No tribe should own the presidency!

The country is for every tribe if, indeed, it sounds good to mention tribe. I, personally, do not completely like to mention tribes because, once I mention tribes, it sounds like I’m talking about 64 South Sudanese instead of one South Sudan, one people.

If I get an opportunity to chair the Council of Ministers meeting, sit on the throne in J One, or become what they call the flag bearer, the first thing I should do is to take all the 64 tribes to a professional engineer to weld them into one big tribe called South Sudan. This is a genuine step in putting South Sudan at peace with itself and with its neighbors.

There is nothing wrong with any tribesman becoming Head of the State because South Sudan is imprinted on everyone’s heart. Tribesmen should not deceive themselves that the fact that they were the majority in the liberation struggle guarantees them to feel more South Sudanese than others. It is obvious that there must be people who had taken up arms and liberated the country, but this does not guarantee them rule for life.

What matters is not who is the president and from which tribe. What matters is, whether is this president delivering services to the citizens ‘equally’, is he fair in judgment, does he listen to the voices of the citizens, does he believe in the spirit of democracy, does he keep international ties in a cool and dry place, does he include the unborn generations in his daily decisions for the country, does he accept that he is the servant and the citizens are the master, can he accept to die on behalf of the country?

Such a leader has already deleted tribalism in the people’s minds and moved a step ahead to delete it from the recycle bin to make sure no chance for restoration at all. Dinka, as a tribe, should not overlook other tribes because the president is a Dinka. Tribes should not take the presidency as a pride, but as a source of services to them in that whoever holds it, holds it as long as services are flowing to the people.

There is nothing wrong with wherever the president hails from, what matters is the service delivery whether the president was an adopted child from America, a Ugandan-South Sudanese, an alien, or an angel sent from heaven.

The author is a medical student, University of Juba.

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