OpEd, Politics

Mourn no more, but celebrate John Garang’s legacy

On the 30th of July 2005, the saddest news of the demise of Dr. John Garang de Mabior in a helicopter crash was announced. The news shocked not only the Republic of Sudan but Africa, and indeed the rest of the world. Dr. Garang meant well, he truly meant well. If those whom he met occasionally miss him that much, how about relatives and colleagues whom he had stayed with for 21 years in the bush?

Nearly all the revolutionists of the African struggles for self-determination tasted the fruits of their struggles, some even have completed their fruits and advanced to those belonging to their sons and daughters, but Dr. John Garang, within 21 days of wanting to taste the fruits, unfortunately died on a mission necessitating the CPA.

At the age of 60, it was too earlier for him to visit ancestors. If legacies were put in drums and purified like water so that pollutes sink and purified legacies are drunk or used for future references, legacies of other liberators would not even fill a bucket, but those of Dr. John Garang would not drop half a milliliter.

He led a visionary movement of the poor isolated Southern Sudan, but because he was polite and persuasive, he managed to solicit funds, (both financial and material) from well-wishers until the movement was no difference with those fought in developed countries. Within the then Southern Sudan, he began with the introduction of missions, visions, values and objectives of the SPLM to win the hearts of the sons and daughters who dignified discrimination and marginalization from the north.

He then introduced to the SPLA a very polite demand that succeeded in garnering necessities of the movement as ‘beg and do not leave it’. When an SPLA soldier asked for something from you, he/she never ceased asking for it, with his/her eyes reddening, all you could do was to release what he asked for before something stupid could happen. The movement was largely propelled by Dr. Garang’s gentility in creating courage and confidence-boosting statements such as his claim, in response to allegations of where the SPLA courage came from, that our courage came from the conviction that we are fighting a just cause, adding that it is something North Sudan and its people do not have.

From 1962 when he joined the first Sudanese civil war to 2005 when he signed the CPA, the legacy he left behind is worth celebrating annually. In the course of missing him, he had spoken enough to SPLA on several occasions, but the civilians wish Dr. John Garang could have lived a little bit longer to speak on social occasions as the citizens’ thirst for Garang’s words was left unquenched by his untimely death. It was exactly on Friday the plane crashed and he went missing throughout Saturday.

It is the person who has died but the vision and legacy have remained behind for furtherance, which the then deputy Chairman of SPLM, now the Chairman, H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, has hand-picked them from the very junction John Garang stopped at. Salva Kiir aka “Joshua” led the then Southern Sudan to the bathroom in which she came out with a different name, ‘the Republic of South Sudan’, although many were (and are) trying to stray him from the promised visionary path, he managed to continue whitewashing the legacy of the SPLM. Long Live Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, long live SPLM!

The author is a medical student, University of Juba.

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