Opinion by: Adv. Juma Mabor Marial
Juba, South Sudan
For the sake of sparing my readers time to do other things after reading this piece, let me summarize this in point forms.
The recent President’s Visit to Bor on April 1, 2021, was like April Fools stuff as nobody knew (except maybe the close security agents in the Presidency) that the President could make such an impromptu visit outside Juba – it was a reality, he indeed went to Bor and came back to J1 successfully.
Now with that surprise visit by the Head of State and Government and subsequent campaign-like humourous speech, here are a few things that I, in my considered opinion, thinks informed these unprecedented and impromptu actions by the President:
- Kuoldit Factor: in the past few weeks, there has been a lot of media noise and disenfranchising statements attributed to Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, a man that told Kiir to sit on the Throne at New Site soon after Garang crashed. That he (Kuoldit) was no longer happy with Kiir’s style of leadership and as such, he retreated to his hometown and begin to inform his constituency of the irretrievable breakdown of his relationship with the President and indeed announcing the unhealthy condition of the High Command and SPLM Mainstream which he might have told his people are in the ICU – being his godfather literally, Kiir felt threatened by Kuol’s new behavior and despite his numerous attempts to make him have a dialogue with him, the old man remained adamant and Mayardit had to make an effort and visited Kuoldit at his backyard/hideout to assure him that he is an unconditional friend and all his grievances will be addressed asap. This is why none of SPLM – NCP penetrators was in the entourage – the strategy to revive real SPLM/High Command seemed to have worked with this little missed call from Kuoldit and maybe Awetdit;
- Tired of Staying in Juba and Testing Waters to see whether the propagandas of regime change if he steps foot outside Juba is a reality – The President felt good to interact with ordinary citizens and he was also not taking the threats of people taking power when he is out of Juba lightly and so as an experienced Military Intelligence cadre, he took along with him all the potential candidates or should I call them suspects of this propaganda from his office to the NSS, SSPDF, SSPS, etc. So he was saying, wherever I go, we go together, so stop your nonsense;
- The Bor/Buors Factor – In the recent past, there seemed to be discontentment from the citizens of that part of the country against the President and his leadership and this is because of two major reasons or more: one the Shariikat incident which has until now not been addressed to their satisfaction and two, the flooding which they felt the President and the Regime neglected them in the face of this catastrophe and so the President out of sympathy and being aware that this is a large constituency that he must not ignore if he is to go for another bid on power, he had to visit them and pledged his support to them at all times – something that he did very well in his speech when he talked about the flooding and encouraged people to be resilience. He also left something for them but not under the care of Koor Mayual (what that means, I don’t know, maybe our brothers from Bor will tell us more about the meaning of that);
- I am clean and ready to deliver peace dividends through services to our people but people in Juba are not giving me time to do that – the President knows he is being blamed for everything that is going on wrong in the country and he took this opportunity to tell the citizens that am taking all the blames but there are people who don’t want me to succeed as they are busy eyeing my seat, please tell them to stop such that I can concentrate on delivering services to you;
- Corruption – The President was very clear when he said he is very annoyed with Uncle Deng Athorbei on the Bhar el Ghazal road project (he forgot to mention Mayiik and Shandong too) but what is important is that he said these old dudes love positions but cannot work – Deng Athorbei Vs. Bol Mel roads projects compared.
In conclusion, the President’s visit to Bor despite all the above personal analyses was a step in the right direction to consolidate peace and encourage the citizens to be resilient in the face of all the challenges that they face today.
I have been and will continue to advocate for the President to reach out to his people and dialogue with them. People love him but they can’t meet, greet and talk to him. I know and remember the President also misses and want to talk to his people but there are too many barriers between him and the people. Please allow the leader to interact with his subjects – you cannot imagine what positive and significant impacts these few hours visits have had on the President, Kuoldit, and the entire citizens of Jonglei State – That is the South Sudan we want!
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