OpEd, Politics

A future leader is dying of hunger down there

It is worrisome to see future leaders being admitted in hospitals for malnutrition. This has a profound effect on the growing brain. As someone being adequately prepared to take power with a more decisive mind, the reductive adaptation system of severe acute malnutrition would impair the brain.

This is for young leaders below five years of age. In the case of adult young leaders of age 6 to 45 years, persistent starvation would impair their brains or send them to the graveyard. It would be somehow acceptable if it impairs their brains, but if it sends them to the graveyard, who will replace the leaders of today? There is a need to care for the leaders of tomorrow. I repeat, there is a need to take good care of future leaders.

Of the 7.2 million hungry people in South Sudan, roughly 4.0 million are youth out of a separate report of 1.2 million children with acute malnutrition in South Sudan. This clearly tells that a youthful part of the population is at the greatest risk of food shortage and since food assistance has enormously reduced, I assume at least two young leaders die every day in South Sudan. Who knows those young leaders dying may be the ones South Sudan has been waiting for?

Who actually knows those innocent souls being sent to the grave early may be the ones to pay the civil servants and soldiers on a monthly basis? Who really knows those young leaders dying may be the ones born without corruption, tribalism and nepotism in their blood? Who knows the future leaders dying of hunger now may be the ones born devoid of greediness, hence rebellion-free? Who truly knows the young leaders dying may be the ones to use oil wisely? Who knows the malnourished young leaders dying may be the ones who will lead by what they are and, not who they are?

There is a lot good to expect from the hungry young leaders in South Sudan. However, I have observed that the leaders of today are only taking very good care of their own children to make sure they will be the ones to replace them in the future. As children of today’s leaders study overseas where studies are more improved and food is in abundance, they are getting a quality education and immunity against malnutrition.

I pity myself as a young leader preparing to take over from the leaders of today. I too pity my equivalent young leaders who are in preparation for future leadership but are wrestling with hunger and all other hardships knowingly imposed on them by the leaders of today. It is clear. Any malnourished future leader should be informed that he/she is not being fed well by the leaders of today as a political weapon to give their children unopposed opportunities to lead.

This comes in the sense that instead of malnourished future leaders competing for leadership with well-fed future leaders of today’s leaders, they be correcting the longstanding effects of malnourishment. And as they take time to correct the effects of malnourishment, the roots of well-fed future leaders get firm in leadership.

Future leaders are dying in 10 states and 3 Administrative Areas and to everyone’s dismay, they migrate to Juba city, thinking that things are going to improve, but unfortunately, things go extra worst in Juba. They think the government provides loaves of bread and the citizens look for sauce as it is done in other countries, but unfortunately, the government even takes away the little food the citizens have, taking future leaders much closer to the graveyard.

The author is a medical student, University of Juba.

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