By Isaiah Abraham
March 2, 2010 — The President of the Republic, Field Marshall (Retired) Omar Hassan Ahmed Al Bashir visit to Juba and Torit towns on the same Monday sends an un-coded message of desperation for Southerners to vote for him. His rally in Juba National Stadium was full to the capacity, the very rally that was largely avoided by SPLM tops. His message in Juba and in Torit Freedom Square was emphatic: “vote for me”. I don’t know though whether something has changed in his favor from these rallies, but one thing is clear: the SPLM nomination of Yasser Saeed Arman as party presidential torch bearer in the upcoming April Elections has complicated things for the National Congress Party (NCP) and its president (Mr. Omar Al Bashir).
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As far Southern future is concerned, the SPLM party made unnecessary gamble to nominate Mr. Yasser in this election. Everyone expects the SPLM to respect the wishes and aspirations of the people of Southern Sudan by nominating none, for the sake of continuity in the implementation of the CPA, since their partnership with the NCP still stand. Mr. Yasser isn’t going to win after all, and indeed no one will win this election outright. There will be aftermath bruises to everyon. This nomination in fact will take the elections to its second round where Mr. Yasser votes (Southern votes) will determine the winner. There is no magic in numbers for anyone at the moment, even if the air is suspect to be in favor of the NCP (eespicially in the North). Statistics smack facts on our face. Numbers don’t lie. President Al Bashir advisors know this fact: unless Yasser automatic votes are spoiled, the future for the NCP coming back to power through democratic means hangs in the balance.
At this junction therefore, Southerners holds the key to this elections. Their votes count. But if I were them, they got to vote wisely because their future isn’t in the book (constitution) or in Mr. Yasser as others have made it their songs to advance this kind of politics. For the sake of Referendum ahead of us, President Al Bashir at the moment needs Southern supports (votes), not Mr. Yasser Arman. This is why: if he (Yasser) wins that election miraculously it will put the SPLM party (people of the South) into awkward and in a collusion course with the international community, the very body that have made the unity option their declared choice over separation. Why would the South go separate when they have attained power, people will whisper and wheeze ridicules against the party post shifting policies. I have to stop there, in relations to reasons why Arman choice is dangerous.
Politicians from the SPLM party however have their own interpretation on this matter. To them, the outcome of Referendum won’t be affected irrespective of anyone coming up in Khartoum seat, they claim. That is fallacy! The outcome would be affected fundamentally. Yasser manifesto is glazed with beautiful ideas we have been hearing them often but Southerners don’t have courage yet to jump to bed with the North on impetuous of a small clique at the Political Bureau. I wanted my people to shun Yasser and vote overwhelmingly for President Al Bashir. Mr. Al Bashir will recognize us first and shall remain our first neighbor. He speaks no bubbles, and once he says it, his hearts never goes the opposite.
Some among us have the habits of looking down on facts on the ground and only interested in what is out there. My friend, that is not the case. Let’s rally behind Al Bashir as Southern Sudanese from all corners of our land, to give him the support he needs. Of course for Southern Presidency, we need Kiir/Machar to finish the job they have started together. A minute, what happens if we don’t (vote for Al Bashir)? This is what I think will happen: The North shall unite (conspire) against the South to vote out President Al Bashir in the second round. This will have a severe impact on the implementation of the CPA, due to the new arrangement in Khartoum, that will likely to be made, by heavy touches on the constitution. Our 28% votes can’t stop any changes in the National Assembly in Khartoum, so does our self- proclaimed friends from outside for possible more machine guns. We will be in crisis. We must be extra careful at this stage unless we eternally lose to win the war of liberation at its zero hour.
That is where our unity comes in. We need unity of our political parties. SPLM factions should unite and give President Al Bashir backing; the very person who brought the South to this standard. Let’s take firm steps at this important political junction for the sake of millions that perish for the cause of Southern Sudan . Mr. Arman might be innocent and the question isn’t about him as an individual, but about big picture beyond his nomination/support. This isn’t time for us to chase after euphoria, but time to calculate our steps and take the route that leads to total liberation of our people. Even if it means burying our differences as political parties this hour, why not do it! President Kiir and his running mate (Dr. Machar Teny) require true friends of Southern Sudan , for them to complete the journey. We don’t need problems of transition; smooth one will come from Mr. Bashir not Yasser Saeed Arman. No right mind Southerner moreover can easily forget Arab wily character.
Oh no! May be I have said many things above. But the reality remains: no CPA future without CPA authors. Constitution or constitutions aren’t guarantors of this document, so to speak, but political will. We live in a third world, someone must understand. There are elements within the North elites who made no secret to do away with what they called ’bilateral arrangement’ (CPA) between the NCP and the SPLM. If they come to power, what will stop them from changing the constitution to accommodate Darfur and other political forces in the country? Look, neighbors are pushing their agenda through other political forces and this should have worried us much in the South right now. Political Bureau (PB) decision can be thrown out of the window if we refuse to elect its choice in the Arman. Vote for Arman is vote for unity. Yes to Al Bashir!
Isaiah Abraham, lives in Juba ; he’s on Isaiah_abraham@yahoo.co.uk