Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 30 June 2011

Any award should be about Southern Sudan pride, Mr. Professor


by Isaiah Abraham

June 30, 2011 — I find an article written yesterday (June 29, 2011) by a Southern Sudanese researcher Dr. John A. Akec about Gogrial contribution nationally and international offensive and tasteless. I must debunk it against him not the entire Gogrial people. Dr. Aketch blew the horn of Greater Gogrial so loud that his self inflated pride analogously reminds me of a Biblical Pharisee who stood aloft in the temple and prayed thus: “ God I thank you that I’m not like other men”, (Luke 18:9-11). Mr. John exactly wanted to portray other Southern Sudanese as ‘robbers’, ‘evildoers’ and ‘tax collectors’.

The good professor moreover didn’t end his ‘holier than thou’ lecture but twisted historical facts about the liberation struggle for the people of Southern Sudan to suit his home boys and girls. He had attempted to make Mr. Kiir wiser than Solomon, and Ms Wek more beautiful than Diana of Britain, a design we all know is typical of Dinka people. The truth of the matter is that Gen. Kiir is wise because Southerners are wise and the same is true with Alek Wek. It is Southern Sudan that makes anyone somebody, and not the other way round! The party he leads to be specific makes anyone!

Kiir inherited anger, frustration and ‘dogged’ determination long enough right from the time of Fr. Saturino down to Garang, and nothing here he had achieved singlehandedly through his wisdom to liberate the people of Southern Sudan. Even Garang, if alive, couldn’t claim to have liberated Southern Sudan. It is the combination of efforts from 1947 to 2005 that count not an individual whose fate smiled at him once at a time in the process of the struggle.

It would be affront to our martyrs if we allotted an award or recognition to one individual or a few. I am talking here about national contribution Dr. John highlighted in his Gogrial elevation piece. International award is a different thing all together as the choice doesn’t necessarily mean celebrities or achievements.

Dr. Akec must not get carried away about ‘his people’ individual contribution so to insult the intelligence of other Southerners. Southern Sudanese have made it collectively to this end, I must repeat myself. Any success by an individual or group in any part of our land was for a larger good of all Southern Sudanese. Southern Sudan at the moment needs a tone that unites not a voice that scatters. We want to brag together as one people, not as sections or clans.

We have all suffered or contributed, and by any measure each individual in the South has contributed nationally or internationally. There is no point therefore for one section of our society to push itself above others as if the freedom for the people of Southern Sudan was the work of Gogrial people. There are similar stories in Bari, Shilluk or Nuer but these people don’t go public to make mounts about what their daughters or sons have achieved for the nation. May be people need to know what constitutes national contribution. Becoming a minister alone doesn’t make anyone a contributor for the struggle of the people of Southern Sudan.

Mr. Professor your naked gloat about Gogrial on the expense of other Southern Sudanese has blinded you to spew venom against critics of Gogrial kitchen Government. You have easily forgotten, sir, that you were few nights ago one. Was that not you Mr. Akec who has written extensively against the government of your people? You claim wildly that Kiir has stolen election, wasn’t that substantiated by facts on the ground? Were you not the one who labeled GOSS as government that is run by good fighters but not good managers’? You said Kiir regime has done much in the past six years compares to previous years during Addis Ababa Accord, what are you telling our people brother here? Don’t you care that your brother Government sits over a dented government ‘dogged’ by corruption, largely orchestrated by your home boys? Do you want to mention the Baaks, the Achuils, the Manutes etc?

Dr. Akec if it weren’t corruption how did you become a Vice Chancellor of a college within a span of few years after you graduated with a PhD? could your part time lectures in South Africa make go up like that? How many Southerners with many years in classes in colleges holding ‘proper’ PhDs that never made it to head universities? You have been quiet and now started to shower praises to Kiir, is that normal really? Someone thought you are reaping were you never sowed. Where on earth could an associate professor becoming a Vice Chancellor within two years.

If I look at some people you said have contributed for the liberation of the people of Southern Sudan, it makes me pluck a demur against anything positive you have done about Southern Sudan. Please brother, leave Hon. Aleu Ayieu Aleu alone! This man is a hero; he was fought fiercely by the then Col. Salva Mathok around Cueibet, Lakes State, when your hero (Mathok) was still a Sudanese army Officer. Let Aweil people brag not Gogrial, otherwise you are making mockery of anything and spoil a good celebration for us all. I must stop here for the sake of our martyrs in Gogrial, some of whom aren’t in your today’s list.

Isaiah Abraham lives in Juba; he’s reachable at Isaiah_abraham@yahoo.co.uk

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  • 30 June 2011 11:19, by Dito


    It is with great delight that you cornered and nailed our professor John Akec.
    As the saying goes that "the best time to know a person’s true nature is through anything that has close proximity to him in time of his hardship or fortunes."
    You can’t exactly know a person’s true odd personalities in time of public debute which he may call common cold instead of the reality that he may be suffering from abject abnormality.
    No one would expect that Professor Akech could stoop so low to kiss tribalism in its uncouth face.
    Let’s just held to a common believe that education can’t completely change a person’s dark personality unless a person himself has the willing to do so.
    Akech has surely expose that his logics could just be considered as a common-man’s inputs and who knows he maybe the logic big boy we know.

    • 30 June 2011 16:59, by Mr. Truthteller

      Isaiah Abraham,

      Thank you for rebuking that so-called professor John Akech. I think he has some missing part in his Gogrial brain. He still has to learn the difference between being nationalist and "influencial" figure like Kiir in tribalism.

      • 3 July 2011 10:28, by Fearless man

        Those who are trying to creat confussion in our tribes desrved death from God.
        How in the hell can some body with the title professor talk like jakeass man with one side brain damage.
        But still we will tread him like lawal Madut who alway talk like this thugs akech.
        I am from Gokrial aka awan Chan and Salva being from Awan chan dose not make me a person who know everthing amoung south sudanse
        death to those who are problemic in our societies, everone ever tribe desrved thank in the fight of freedom in south sudan.
        Everone please take this guy simple as malwal madut done’t take him with respect. shame on him.

    • 1 July 2011 00:28, by John

      " How precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die. When you say something, think. We can give life with what we say" – Nelson Mandela.

      Isaiahs were not flattering by any stretch of imagination as they were meant to rebuke me for pointing out that:
      "As a son of South Sudan, these accolades make me proud. As son of Greater Gogrial in Warap State, where Kiir Mayardit and Alek Wek originate from, I am doubly enthused."
      And to be precise, I provoked the wrath of Isaiah Abraham for celebrating and adding the fact that my pleasure is doubled because the two South Sudanese who independently made it into this list happen to come from my own home Counties of Greater Gogrial.

      The fatal error that Isaiah made is failing to read the first half of my sentence which say that what Salva Kiir and Alek Wek have both achievement is pride of the South Sudan. Reader, what is the difference between Isaiah’s title and my statement: "As a son of South Sudan, these accolades make me proud"? Can I be responsible for Isaiah’s inability to correctly understand and interpret a written English language sentence?

      In rushing to correct what he perceived as my error Mr. Isaiah Abraham erred by repeating something which I have already mentioned as if it is his own new idea? Is that not plagiarism in day light Mr. Isaiah? This is because the two sentences:

      "As a son of South Sudan, these accolades make me proud" – John Akec
      Compare with:"Any Award Should be about South Sudan Pride" – Isaiah Abraham.

      The tragedy is that Mr. Isaiah Abraham believe he is producing a new knowledge…!

      In rushing to correct my "wrongs" Mr. Isaiah Abraham committed a second serious mistake. He misapplied a Bible verse when he said:
      " Dr. Aketch blew the horn of Greater Gogrial so loud that his self inflated pride analogously reminds me of a Biblical Pharisee who stood aloft in the temple and prayed thus: “ God I thank you that I’m not like other men”, (Luke 18:9-11). Mr. John exactly wanted to portray other Southern Sudanese as ‘robbers’, ‘evildoers’ and ‘tax collectors’."

      Is this not a complete fantasy by Mr. Isaiah Abraham? Where on earth in my commentary did I imply this "holier than thou attitude" directly or indirectly? How does Mr. Isaiah Abraham interpret my statement below?
      "It is also worth noting that throughout the history of South Sudan, sons Greater Gogrial in Warap State, like their counterparts in other states of South Sudan have contributed enormously to the struggle and advancement of the cause of South Sudan in many spheres of life, ranging from politics to military to academia to judiciary to media to culture and sports."

      Again, Isaiah rush to pass judgment before he reads the full sentence! The underlined part of the sentence was my design to close the door in the face of Isaiah’s of South Sudan. Haven’t I caught a rat sneaking in to spoil the party? My above phrase does not make such contribution a monopoly of people of Gogrial, or does say so Isaiah?

      The third big mistake committed by Isaiah Abraham is his attempt to mislead his readers that he knew much about me: my education, my teaching experience, where I worked before, and that I have been appointed to a position I do not deserve etc. and I quote:

      " Dr. Akec if it weren’t corruption how did you become a Vice Chancellor of a college within a span of few years after you graduated with a PhD? Could your part time lectures in South Africa make go up like that? How many Southerners with many years in classes in colleges holding ‘proper’ PhDs that never made it to head universities? You have been quiet and now started to shower praises to Kiir, is that normal really?" End quote.

      My question to Isaiah is how many years are few? 3, 4, 5, 8, 10? Is completing a PhD more than 10 years ago and completing my master more than 20 years start teaching at university of Juba more than 23 years ago still count a few? Do you know some academics can be Vice Chancellors with only a master degree as the highest degree?
      He also says somewhere that no person in rank of associate professor can be a vice chancellor. Where does he get his data? This is a blatant untruth by Isaiah. The truth is, he does not know the sector nor how it operates. Isaiah is simply out of his depth. He needs a quick rescue or he will sink.

      Moreover, I have never been to South Africa, let alone teaching "part-time" there. I suspect Isaiah havs mixed me up with another John! And that is not a good thing to be committed by someone who claims to know "Dr. John Akec" very well.

      The fourth mistake is that of playing double standards. Mr. Isaiah Abraham criticized me for criticizing GOSS in the past, calling it a disservice to South Sudan. Then same Isaiah turned around to criticize me for not criticizing what he criticized as corrupt practices in the GOSS! In one moment criticism of GOSS by John Akec is unpatriotic and in the next moment (when it is sanctioned and practiced by Isaiah Abraham) it is patriotic. How fair is that?

      In rushing to correct what Mr. Abraham perceived as my wrongs, he committed many mistakes that range from taking people’s ideas and calling them his own to claiming to be an expert on somebody (John Akec) he does not fully know to playing double standards in an extremely naked way to misapplying Bible verses.

      To be clear to Isaiah and anyone towing his line of argument, celebrating the contribution of a specific community to advancement of South Sudan in various fields should not be seen as a negative thing, but an encouragement to all other communities as well as those immediately celebrating, else why do people of Warwickshire County in England call and write it on the road side that their County is "the Shakespeare’s Country?" and Why was President Bill Clinton described as a "Boy from Little Rock in Arkansas?" and how did we come to know that President George W. Bush Jnr is from Texas if where leaders or talented people come from does not matter to the public?
      Like any fallible being, I am not above criticism and scrutiny, and the very fact that someone in person of Isaiah Abraham finds this particular article "tasteless" should be a genuine cause for concern. I suspect taking pride in achievement of our communities is wrongly perceived in Isiaha’s case as ’gloating’ when it is in fact is "celebrating."

      Also when we criticize others we need to be fair to them and avoid personalization and think about and read what we write. I hope brother Isaiah Abraham will take these points home.

      That apart, Isaiah is entitled to his opinion just as I am entitled to express my ideas the way I want.

      • 1 July 2011 05:02, by Ayuel Bong

        Mr.John,we as Southern Sudanese people have massive confusion ever since we took arms against national government in Khartoum and after CPA should be some worthtrust among us and at the same time we should be careful of what we write or talk because we do not want to hurt our concerns so Mr.John and Isaiah you are in good faith rather than hatre.

      • 1 July 2011 15:27, by Abyei Soil

        Mr John A. Akech

        I am glad to hear your reaction back as per article herein this forum. You know, Mr Isaiah Abraham did not made mistake only but also a crime of defamatory statement he had made against the people of Gogrial. There is no place in this world where you can’t be allowed to show the great achievement of your people to them in order for them to aims bigger and so on. Miss Alek Wek Athian didnt won that price in Gogrial fashion show ground but outside Sudan. H. E. Salva Kiir Mayardit is elected president of the autonomous region of south Sudan and First VP of The Republic of The Sudan and as we know in the constitution of old Sudan that any winner of any national election in Sudan deserve rights of respects and time to perform his or her duty and I think this constitution is not for Sudan alone. Mr Isaiah Abraham is aiming for something different. Shamelessly Mr Isaiah Abraham forgot something that this ugly wired faces look people are the one sacrifice their entire life for the sake of southern freedom in which he is sounding loud now, leaving the entire community under developed. Still he continue tarnishing the Dinka community’s image. My advice to him, let him change immediately.

      • 1 July 2011 18:39, by Deng Francis

        Dr. John Akech, with all due respect, Prof. Isaiah Abraham is very right in his argument. You actually overbrown your triumpet and overpraised the King, sons and daughters hailing from Gogrial for nothing, to the point where you even mentioned, and i quote "Let us thank God and the women of Greater Gogrial for giving so generously from their wombs to the advancement of South Sudan". What does this tell you? What does it tell us? What is the inference implied here? Are you implying that its only the women of gogrial that gave birth to all the heroes and heroines------ and liberators of South Sudan? I don’t think so.

        While its not bad to appreciate what someone has done, but its also good to be careful on how to go praising people so that you are not accused of having hidden agenda, as its the case now. Salva Kiir has done his part during the liberation struggle but he is not more than Dr. Garang, William Nyuon and Keribino KuanyinBol etc. This was overselling and exaggeration of the known facts - trying to give the liberation credit to the people of Gogrial alone. I didn’t know that a person of your caliber would do that and lower himself to becoming a clanist or sectionalist other than a nationalist! What a shame!!! If Dr. John Akech that i have known for a long time could indulge in this and behave like a common gogrial man, then I am tempted to say we have a very long way to go before we could forget about our own/tribal egos.

        Those who put Salva’s name on the 100 top list are having hidden agenda. They are after something else. Perhaps, they want the 100, 000 US dollars that mr. president gave to the great lakes university which awarded him a fake doctoral degree----in which case, he gave them 100,000 dollars - maybe that’s what these guys are looking for. This is a material world where money matters a lot than the real truth! I don’t think he deserved to be on the top 100 list because he is not influential as they put it. He is not and he will never be!!

        It would have made a perfect sense if they gave him a corruption award - that would have been better!

        So don’t brag about nothing, brother. Dr. John Garang deserved this even though he is dead, he can still be awarded post-humous award because he was really influential during his time.

        One would have ignored it were it from another person from Gogrial, but now its a different story! This is the same excuse used by Gogrial sons that they suffered a lot during the war. Salva Kiir told Riek Machar when Riek told him to make a regional balance in the government: "He said the children of Bhar elghazal suffered a lot during the war and its now their time/chance to enjoy the fruits of their work" the inference implied here is that they can loot southern money/resources with impunity. True to this, the two former ministers of finance looted or corrupted billions of US dollars but nothing was ever done to date. This food-lover called Achuil Tito Madut also looted billions of Sudanese pounds but he remains in his position as the inspector general of police, let alone being investigated. and so many corruption cases committed by Gogrial sons. By praising them, you are even giving them more leverage to continue looting southern resources with impunity.

        When i first read your article titled "President Salva Kiir in New African Top 100 list: recognizing a prophet in his home continent" I really laughed because you were actually saying that ’recognising a king in his home area of Gogrial’!

        You gave us a very bad impression about your future as an academician. That think tank you head will be for Gogrial only and not for the entire South Sudan as it should be. What has Salva Kiir done that you guys should brag about, apart from corruption and encouraging tribalism?

        Shut your big mouth, professor. South Sudan was liberated by all the people of South Sudan, and not Gogrial people alone.

        Deng Riek Khoryoam

        • 1 July 2011 20:54, by LL Reuben

          All Southern tribes contributed significantly in the liberation of the South Sudan. All the current SPLM members inbcluding the the last election’opt-out to be independent candidate are influential in one way or the other, so to narrow this obsession down into three individual from one clan is absolutely ridiculous on the part of the writer of this article. Thanks to Mr Francis above for his reasonable comnments.

      • 2 July 2011 06:50, by George Bol

        Dear John,

        I still don’t believe that you are the actual Dr John Akec because you really shows that you are too local to the public eyes. I encourage you to be Nationalist because if you keep writing these kind of articles,then I am sure that you are going to make mistake sometimes in your national works. A leader need to distance him or her self from local issues,please those clan rewards to others. Just some advise.Thanks

    • 12 September 2011 21:33, by Whispers

      Isaiah did not cornered Dr.Akec at all. If this was a boxing match Isaiah has bumped himself mischievously against a real bulwark of the intellectual mind. So for you to leave your ignorant comment Mr. makes you both sound pathetic haters! There was no substance to the article Isaiah wrote against Dr. Akec, other than his own vainglorious self opinion of himself.

  • 30 June 2011 13:54, by Grader

    Dear Isaiah,

    Thank you for the cconstructive criticism of the "professor", the whole South Sudanese is on your side including majority from Gogrial.

    As you’ve said, we should be proud of our new nation and identity (South Sudan) and not go back to those days of Mundukuru divide and rule tactics!

    Keep it up but down succumb to tribal politics like professor did

  • 30 June 2011 14:41, by Abyei Soil

    To Mr Isaiah Abraham

    I am a Dinka by tribe. I am commenting in your article not because of my tribal status, just my point of view.
    I think you did not got Professor John A Akech’s intention. The list of the people in his article are not there to push Dinka tribe above other tribes of south Sudan. Facts are said, this kind of thing called ranking is not the first time to appear in public places like Sudan Tribune. It was developed around the globe with the intention to encourage people to come up in the way expected by majority. The word ’majority’ come when too many people agreed on one thing and accepted. What John did is called profile update though it is different anyway. Profile can be updated on TV, Newspaper, Magazine and even on academic papers and so on. You are sounding tribalistic Mr Isaiah in your argument describing Dinka diminishing their image. You are not faire brother I can say. All of them are our heroes and there is a need for us to know their origin including tribe. It is the same thing if President Salva Kiir himself did something wrong to people of this country, it will not be on him only but the whole Dinka as well as Warrap including my village why don’t we analyse things before we begin to disappoint others. If you have a problem with John A. Akech then it is yours far away from other people. People of south Sudan are equal in all sense, you see, you took it differently. You will not understand me today but in later date you realise what I was talkin’ here was right.

  • 30 June 2011 17:41, by Ayuel Bong

    Mr. Isaiah,you are greatest writer and you deserve a respect but sometimes you wrote some articles like Mr. John Akech and that is a problem we have to address as a nation to get possible solution after we receive an independent state which is July 9 of 2011 because we need to be honest about ourselves as a nation of Southern Sudan not tribes or areas we were born!

  • 30 June 2011 18:30, by Mach Achiek

    Isaiah Abraham,

    You hit the Dr so hard, it was very naive for Dr Akech to attributes what we had all achieved as a people to his Gokrial boys and girls. In fact what had Alek Wek modelling added to the struggle for God sake?. Maybe bikini in the butt.

    John Akech is a hell tribal guy and so do you. How can you branded Dr poor intellect as a typical of 3.5 millions Dinka people?

  • 30 June 2011 21:14, by George Bol

    Dear Abraham,

    You are lost like Dr John Akec. i think John Akec was promoting Gogrial history but Dinka other he would have not left out John Garang de Mabior and William Deng Nhial. I think there is no problem at all for him talk tell us his backyard. But I think he got loss on his trends of thought a little because he did not write what he meant on his title. Sometime people lost thought when too much are in mind to be address,so for me let him write someting about Gogrial so that people will really know who are Gogrial. Thanks

  • 1 July 2011 11:15, by Catch 22

    It is an undeniable fact that Salva Kiir is one of the most influential personalities of our time. Like the authors of the magazine who compile the list, influential doesn’t only mean positive influence only, that is why Robert Mugabe also made it to the list, because the mentioned personalities have touched many peoples lives in more ways than one. My take is that Kiir influences has impacted both positively and negatively almost at equal measure. Nonetheless,the good prof chose to look at the lighter side of it which isn’t bad, while Isaiah Abraham though agreed to some extend with John Akec somehow felt that the honor was bestowed on a few. His criticism was disproportionate and borders on jealousy.Let’s be tolerant of other people’s view.Those who read Prof’s article can perhaps read the critique from the economist and compare it to Isaiah’s http://www.economist.com/blogs/baobab/2011/06/influential-africans

  • 2 July 2011 04:07, by Msudi

    DR.John Akiech,
    with due respect,I’m would like to point out some issues partaining your article.
    It is natural for a person to give praises to the next of kin who has done great things, as we all know that charity begins at home, however because of your status as a person that southern sudanese can look upon as role model but with your writings you have lowered yourself to the same level as an illiterate person.

    You might have a PHD but it is not reflected in your writings because the flow of your ideas in the senteneces you wrote are fundamentally flawed.
    The coherent of your paragraphs are disjointed at best.

    South Sudanese want their professors to write succinctly but your article is full of gramatical mistakes, it is an embrassment for person like you to write like that, any way I cann’t blame you becaause you might have written your thesis in Dinka/Arabic.

    • 2 July 2011 11:12, by Toney Toney Matot

      Mr Abraham,
      you felt jeleous and commented negativly to John Akec article because he praises President Salva Kiir who does not come from your relatives?some one commenting using nick name John Akec may not be a Dinka but can be from any tribe in south sudan. when you give option and personal opinion of who to raise the New born nation Flag,no one has critizes it and you did mention that Joseph Lagu should be the one to raise the flag.is it because he originate from your home area? what qualify Joseph to that extend to be allowed to raised the flag?
      if it is because of being a leader of Anya Nya-1 then,SPLM leaders have to prepare a gift for him for leading the first movement. tribalism and selfishness will led us no where.

    • 2 July 2011 22:33, by Abyei Soil

      @ Msudi

      Are you ok as well to correct other people’s English Language. Let me ask you. Is your first sentence of your comment correct? Read it again.

  • 4 July 2011 17:44, by Good Citizen

    the so call professor,should have thoroughly research all south sudanese who deserve recognition/praise, and humbly write on them, but if Dinkas want to be called ’liberators’ as the professor depicts his village of Gogrial, we will call you so,no big deal here, it will add / subtract nothings to other Non-Dinkas Fertit,Nuer,Equatorians etc.
    even though they Dominate the government,they are still the poorest, i don’t know where the money looted daily go.keeping them in the foreign banks and your people wallowing in poverty.this is very unfortunate indeed, the fool and his money!

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