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Settling for Mediocracy

BY: Gabrial Pager Ajang

For the last 27 years, I have witnessed our leaders on their rigorous journey for excellence. They have aggressively trained us (Lost boys) not to settle for less.  Dr. John Garang de Mabior, William Nyuon, Salva Kiir, Pieng Deng, Ajang Alaak, and Maker Thiong set the highest expectations for us.  They did not just teach us but they grilled us to be the best in the world. 

Today, I can fairly say we have lifted up to their expectations. We have transcended barriers, defeated all odds and went to the best universities this world had produced. So why do our leaders and citizens settled for mediocacy?  Many of us who have been criticizing President do not do it out of hatred; we offered constructive arguments to help shape his plans for country.

Certainly current leaders diverse from visionary programs….. programs they themselves set in the past. So it is not surprise that there are huge contradictions and dialectic forces in today politics of South Sudan.  

I was not expecting government to build that isolated island called Juba and left the populace at the mercy of diseases. I was not expecting government to build that isolated Buur and left the populace at the mercy of poverty. I was not expecting Juba to build the isolated Agoro and left the populace at the mercy of insecurity. I was not expecting Juba to be so corrupt palace and not “taking towns to village.” It never crosses my mind that folks who contributed their grains, goats, and cows would be deprived. I never thought that the best minds, the learned would be seen as enemy and killed (for instance Dr. Diing Chol Dau, PhD of Oxford University, Neurosurgeon) killed in Juba. 

I have never thought that orphans of previous wars would be pitch against each to kill themselves. I never thought leaders would build their leadership on hatreds and violence. The current levels of hatreds and escalation of violence has only worsened Kiir’s Presidency. It is now clear that Kiir will leave presidency disgraciously---- if we continue to defend mediocre presidency. It does not help Kiir or people of South Sudan if you blindly defend or support him to settle for less. His legacy is at stake. 

To those who want to fight Dr. John Garang de Mabior. I got news for you; the man is dead and had written his legacy, fighting Garang is not a winnable battle. Whether you fight him in this life or next life, chances of your successes are slim. Work for peace, maybe you can reverse current dreadful leadership of Juba.

Certainly, you could be better off if you can start articulating programs that would help president Kiir creates stability, establishing lasting peace and healing. Stop this obvious argument and rhetoric because it is not going to cut it. A legitimate government that does not provide basics services is not good government in the eyes of citizens. A legitimate government that does not provide security to citizens isn’t a good government.  A government that does not target educated folks isn’t a good government. A government that infringes upon people liberty and does not provide justice isn’t a good government. A government that does not balance powers among branches of government isn’t good government either. 

Work and implement peace and nation building. Finally criticisms of government ensure perfect unity of citizens and alert lawmakers to promote development. Settling for mediocracy is the worst one can do for nascent country and next generation.

Gabrial Pager Ajang

You can reach him at gajang@wrightcc.edu or ajangassaociates@gmail.com