opinionBy Justin Ambago Ramba
Lately South Sudan's ruling party the SPLM has been struggling to balance its political books across the vast territory of the new country. As a party that is locally, regionally and internationally best known for corruption and impunity, it's no wonder that most of the leadership of this embattled organization in the due course of trying to save its tail, it is in fact doing more damage to the party's already tainted image than doing it any good.
Hon. Philip Thon Nyok a Member of Parliament representing Bor county in Jonglei State's legislative assembly has recently acknowledged the fact that many citizens across the new nation have complained about poor basic services in the country, with leading politicians at the forefront blaming the government for the failure. (Sudan Tribune online, Wednesday 23 January 2013).
However in spite of his confession during the SPLM caucus meeting in Bor, it was just unfortunate that the Honorable state MP chose to defend the party by directing his disappointments towards those members who are increasing becoming disillusioned with the party's performance in the state and the country wide.
"A lost member of SPLM is the one who says SPLM is dying rather than saying that the members are not fulfilling their deputies, "he said.
Now just focusing on the above lines, one cannot miss to see that the SPLM is struggling with internal discontents almost everywhere and even so in its birthplace in Jonglei State and the historical Town of Mading Bor. At this juncture may be the SPLM leadership will do itself a favor by taking those whistle-blowers a bit seriously if they are to escape the otherwise inevitable degeneration and eventual demise of this party given its current appalling performances.
Up till here we will leave the SPLM fans to struggle with their own internal crisis, while we address the main reason for writing this article in the first place as summarized in the above title - blasphemy with impunity?
It is to some extent true that we in South Sudan would often want to identify ourselves with Christianity, especially the few who had a background of religious upbringing. And no wonder that some even proposed that new the country be named the "Republic of Cush" in conformity to a certain claimed prophecy. The problem is sometimes we tend to overdo our Christianity to the extent that it backfires.
A typical example of over christening is precisely demonstrated in Hon. Philip Thon Nyok's description of the ailing SPLM party. The MP is no doubt an SPLM diehard, but how much does he cherish his Christian faith is now the issue of concern. Just read what he had to say at the Bor SPLM caucus meeting as he defended the party and I quote:
"There is the SPLM party and the members assigned to the organs of the party from the national level down to Boma levels. The party [SPLM] is clean like Jesus Christ, but the members in charge of the organs may be wrongdoers", he said. www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-315990564.html
First of all to compare the SPLM party to Our Lord Christ is totally a weird move. The SPLM is a man made organization littered with obvious defects and loopholes even in its coumaflougingly brilliant mission statements, ideology and vision and just like any other concepts crafted by man through the entirety of history - it cannot be as perfect or even as clean as Our Lord Christ.
Who does Hon. PhilipThon Nyok think Jesus Christ is to allow for comparison with the SPLM?i!!!! Doesn't he believe that Jesus Christ is a member of the Holy Trinity, that together form the one God? What's going wrong with these people?!!!
The people of South Sudan might have failed for one reason or the other to challenge SPLM's long list of incompetence, corruption, non-professionalism and inconsistencies, fix in the bud. Now the party has gone one step further to openly compare itself to God Almighty ( Jesus Christ) in the most outrageous and blasphemous way, is this not a new concern? Are the true believers of the Christian faith going to stomach this without any due reaction?
Nonetheless I do agree with the Hon. MP about the need for unity with his ruling party. This is simply because unity is strength and if it can be realized at a family level, then a village level so can it be at the national level. Not to talk here about how it will as well contribute to the stability of the whole country and its various organizations. But it is indeed important to realize that there are conditions that every organization must fulfill if its members are to remain united. Unity doesn't come for free.!
And again his argument about the south-ruling party being a "democratic" government, committed to developing the new nation without any external interference is obviously not true. Indeed South Sudan under the current SPLM led government remains a country that does not own its decision. As long as the country remains completely dependent on foreign aid, with foreign NGOs all over the place, basic food items coming from across the borders, then how do you fence off the external interference? And so far which development project has the SPLM led government achieved or plans to achieve without an external influence?!!
The other statement that totality makes no sense is this one, I quote:
"The SPLM party [way of] governance is democratic but should not be a meaningless democracy which will entertain South Sudan parties influenced by Khartoum just to impede the development of South Sudan". End of quote.
Let's face it fellow compatriots, is it true that there are parties in South Sudan which are influenced by Khartoum or our northern neighbor the republic of the Sudan, more than this ruling party the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)? Even the way the SPLM does things has metamorphosed into a mirror image of the notorious National Congress Party (NCP) of the fugitive Omer Hassan El Bashir.
It is this SPLM's copycat of the NCP way of doing things that's impeding the realization of any genuine democratic institutions in the country. It is the ruling party's reactive policies that are denying South Sudan of any chances of development. But however should there exist other political groups out there with whom the SPLM is competing to win favor in the Sudan (North) which we don't know, then that's its problem and those of its likes.
And by the way for how long is SPLM is going to begging the Khartoum regime for the permission to export South Sudan's Oil through Port Sudan? This should be the major external influence that Hon. Philip and his so-called clean party should be worried about. Continuing to accuse the neighboring Sudan of putting the government of South Sudan on a "rough" road as his Honorable chose to wind up his discontent is not a solution. What did he and his likes expect from the enemy?!!!
The SPLM's attitude of referring to a certain meaningless democracy that even doesn't exist under its leadership, and even to see within the SPLM party as an organization, clearly suggests how intolerable the party is to others who hold differing views to others, be that within the party or with other political parties. This is not a party which should even in its wildest dreams think of comparing itself to Jesus Christ given what He (The Lord) stands for.
Last but not least, Hon. Philip Thon Nyok needs to acknowledge that his SPLM party is not any near to Lord Jesus Christ, and his reckless comparison between the two constitutes a frank act of blasphemy.