By Isaiah Abraham
Feb 22, 2007 — The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness. That is exactly the case here. What starts as pure enjoyment has turned out to be deadly. It is indeed a very sad state of affairs and shames every right thinking Southerner. The media is awash with unpleasant news about our beloved land-Southern Sudan. This store is forgotten one but remains as another bad news for our people.
Juba in particular is a city on focus. This city is either a curse or somehow nearer to it. To die in Juba is easier than to pronounce or reciting abcdefgh…; if today is not an arsonist killing people or destroys properties, tomorrow death would be a car accident or someone killed on the vicinity of Juba by gunmen allied to either former Alfred Lado Gore group, Joseph Konyi or EDF renegades. If one escapes any of the above, the Ugandan bell drinks kills. What a tragedy!
Precisely a week ago, the writer refused to visit his nephew in one of the city hospitals who was writhing in pain at his chest and throat after he burnt up his tonsil in Value VEE , Bros and others at the River side. But pray that he gets well and revisit whatever wisdom was left out on the process! Shockingly, he wasn’t alone. There are too many others who never daily missed one bottle of tusker or bell unless he dies. They end up in hospitals that are badly under staffed with obsolete equipment unattended on the dusk floor in the wards. The Minister is looking for doctors…
To one policeman who somehow looks fit, the taking of drinks makes him sharp and alert. My question to his face was what? ‘Sharp’ and ‘alert’, on/in what? He was defenseless because had wanted to go few miles piercing ourselves with live stories (facts) on this new found Southern friend. That is to tell him one or more facts about alcohol in general. Something to do with his productivity mainly (not economic &, social).
Now if we really care about Southern Sudan & future why not stop wasting away our golden opportunities to do good for upcoming generation? Time is so precious and hardly recoverable, why spend huge time in bars? Unless we forget history will judge us harshly if we failed to rise up to the occasion of making Southern Sudan place to live in! We are now masters of our own destiny and therefore oblige to do what is best to our people. Let us prove to Khartoum that we can and will do without them.
Khartoum tried to regulate or say put a stop to drinking all together. We complained loudly and the Sharia was stopped in the South. How do we justify to them that drinking is harmless when our hospitals are full of alcohol induced/related illnesses? This last question is directed to all Southerners not the GOSS. Our leaders are busy doing other things and even trying to shade their skins after they had unfairly or fairly come under fire from the public on corruption and other malpractice such as nepotism/tribalism. They didn’t have time to look at statistics of people dying from bad behavior (drinking).
However behavioral change is one important school of development. It has also anything to do with the top. Some among them are classified as heavy drinkers. Their refrigerators are never dry of beer bottles. This is unbecoming! Some appear into their offices late from hang over wore on their faces and assume they could get away or ‘run and hide’. That is impossible! If they preach prosperity through development when they are not doing the actual work (few hours a day), then where will that development come from? This can’t help us at all. In each and every so-called River side Hotels in Juba one will never go without stumbling on one or two big guns exchange one bottle of beer with Sudanese Dinars or now Pounds. Anything wrong there? Affirmative! If they want to drink away stress of that hot city why not in a while? Some have pitched camps there and their bars are their offices.
The first few months in Juba were productive. People were conscious of time and resources. Now work ethic has gone far away. Why? Is it because there is no one to police us or urge us to do the work? Who will really come from anywhere to build Southern Sudan? Our young Southern Sudanese who are in Europe and Americas have turned their pens against us (their people). They grade everything that had happened in Southern Sudan with grade “C”. They are not even thinking of coming to Southern Sudan or offer/preach any good for the South. If they come they are interested in business and investment ventures. They hook up in their skype phones to soothe their instigative/ itching ears. When disarmament was carried out by the SPLA in Lou land this time last year they were quick to condemn and later rush to inform everyone about it including that of the UN and the Security Councils. They called it then abuses against Nuer. Now if they could come and see the situation they would ever be silly or angry to themselves!
We should take the challenge on our own pace and shame the world especially Khartoum who always documented that Southern Sudanese can’t govern themselves. When our leaders went to Yei and redefine their fundamental political strategies against non but on foot level, it caught enemies of SPLM by surprise! But the SPLM didn’t also go out without looking into her house or say its shortcomings and therefore guess that the tenure for Dr. Lam, Arthur Akuein, Tellar Deng and Justine Yaac Arop is at thin razor blade! The said gentlemen have caught Southern shot end of the stick. They are under question why! Congratulations SPLM Chairman!
Though El Bashir team had shown indignation when Dr. Marial was called for Regional Ministry of the GOSS, Mr. Kiir shouldn’t stop short of tearing into NCP policy of poaching SPLM members or shy away from removing suspected or adversely mentioned Ministers implicated in corruption. Reshuffle (not sacking) is of necessity. He should remember the saying that “justice delayed is justice denied”
If there is any yard stick so accurate than the rising of the sun, then societal behavior is one. Southern Sudanese aren’t lazy but carelessly enslaved by their own behaviors. We must prove to Khartoum that with or without alcohol our world will still go on. Leaders must go in front and display good example. Its is unfortunate to SPLA top brass in Juba Raha comfortably giving away important information about Southern Sudan to foreigners under the influence of beer. Our land is our life, we got to be serious and make no mistake that could haunt our children and grand children later. Sharia is the best, away with beer!
* The author is living in Southern Sudan. He can be reached on [email protected]