By Joseph Baak Ruonrach
It is in the political arena where rules of the game are broken without punishment or injurious consequences for those who break them. None is accountable to anyone, because many leaders have acted in breach of one law or the other. They will resign from demanding accountability because their demands meet resistance, or reprisal.
That kind of school of thought confuses and mixes gullibility with maturity, and venerated titles of “martyrs” and “heroes/heroines” and the memories of those who rightly earned them. Surprisingly, these great people were honored by H E President Salva Kiir Mayardit when he took a courageous step to relieve the cabinet including the Vice president, and formed a committee to investigate the SG of the SPLM. This step will be appreciated by the people of this country, except few who were advantageous from the previous cabinet. The citizens demonstrated this turning out in huge numbers in the states to support the president for his decisions.
The sympathizer or the Secretary General of the SPLM may consider my demand as a harmless bark, though my gut is telling me that most members of the party might agree with me that there is a creeping question lingering like a rude intruder to why Pagan still maintaining his position as SG after he admitted the failure of the party? And why he failed to keep updating party’s member the party’s activities?
I will continue protesting and keep hammering on the demand that the Secretary General must resign, and give our brains some respect. I am only defending the truth because it will be hard to Pagan to explain to the members, why the party failed, and lost the vision. Since the strength and power of a party is its membership, and a strong secretary general to organize, energize, and revitalize the conditions of the party that may need a think-tank to generate the knowledge, and ideas, with an eye fix on the next election, with strategies and smart steps to transform the party into an electable party.
If the SG lacks those ingredients, then there is a problem with his leadership, which had reflected in his reigned in nine years down the line. Relatively speaking, the members of the party were dripped into rage and anger when Pagan admitted that the party has failed and lost the vision. But who is to be blame while he is the one leading the party? I was stunned when I had some of the party officials beating around trying to defend the SG and avoid the fact that he was the one who failed the party.
In order to have a mercy on this country and its people. Let us draw an honest balance sheet of the period he had been leading the party and evaluate against his shortcoming and what he had achieved during the period he spent as SG? This job is not a do-or-die hunt for positions nor is it for those who do not have the guts to set pace, or those who are always follow the pace set by others.
This job is for those who can make difference, set plans and move around the country to explain the objectives of the party to the people. Similarly, there are many people whose entire existence is based on what others are doing. These are sit back groups who don’t deserve a penny in the national treasury. The truth is that those who lack the ingenuity and chutzpah to be original lack the credential to lead. The ability to lead is directly proportional to your ability to believe in yourself, and the place of leadership is where individuals innovate above the rest.
We need a secretary general who can address the messes across the nation not the one who travels to deliver bilateral letters to the head of the states and always on safari.
A simple test that had a tremendous effect to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when the job description got into confusion with party secretary general who is fond of traveling abroad instead of touring the nation to preach the threatened party. The statement released by Pagan had resulted into a lot of public noise, which mostly created confusion, consequently a failure to address the problems, follow by catastrophe.
We can’t afford to wait for mistakes made by Pagan to finish up the party. Pagan should progressively retire from active SG of the party in favor of more energetic blood and more idealistic brain. The party is no longer need to merely be engaged in a blame game, but a secretary general who can provide a vision, values, energy, share goals, and purposes.
It will not be like putting a new engine in an old car. This time the car must have qualities in order to roll “You must be the change you want to see in the World" Mahatma Gandhi once said. The only thing that could tilt the scale is a candidate seeking a position to be vetted publicly and put to task about his/her ability to perform. The principle is to ensure that only the most qualified and suitable individuals ascend to the leading of the party through a competitive process.
The president was clear in his speech on the Independent Day when he said that patriotism ends with hard work, and corruption will not be tolerate, together with corrupt officials, even though some are comrades, or members of the cabinet.
For an individual to gain a respect of the people it is better for him/her to quit with dignity rather than being humiliated in the upcoming convention or kick out by an angry mob.
The Secretary General should know that those who praise you today for what you have done will mock you when the object of their praise is no more. Pagan is an astute debater who does not fear to take a position and articulate with robustness of matador on any issue, but that did not happen in his capacity as the secretary general of the party. Instead, he failed to provide a manifesto for action plan, complete with charts and graphs, timetable and ten-point plans.
My polite and humble advice to SG is not to hold grudges, dwell on the past or worry about the future, but to see these problems as challenges and opportunities. My demand needs his consideration and takes a courageous move to step down quietly in order to avoid tarnishing his legacy. When we knock our toes on a stone as we walk, we end up making very strange interpretation of the happenings. It could be a bad sign that could be a reason to suspend a trip. SPLM will never give-up. It will not either be a bargain to ensure one man’s freedom did not become another man tyranny nor a system designed to serve the whims of one man. If the positive role is played before populace, the negative part will receive less attention.
Joseph Baak Ruonrach is an SPLM member living in Juba he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org