Given the state of our country's affairs and the way leaders are managing it; firstly, we are reminded of sacrifices our freedom fighters had made to free us from oppression and give us the country we call our own. It was through their selfless commitment, bravery and patriotism that we came a long way to reach the "Promised Land." Despite being a thorny journey; many of us, both the deceased and those alive today did not know how long it would take us.
In attaining this country, however, we all know the feeling and sensitivity attached to it is quite overwhelming in the sense that everyone paid a price. Our mothers, traditional leaders and civil population contributed massively and stood with our gallant forces. The aim was for those who will remain not to struggle to survive as much as our fathers did in their times. Their thoughts were when we finally get the country, the leaders will work for citizens and there will be no more suffering.
Today, here we are! Twelve years of our independence since 2011 have gone but with bad memories as a result of the country's top leaders political divide in 2013 and 2016 respectively. Civilians were subjected to wars and their properties looted. Lives were lost. Many people were displaced and pushed to live in abject poverty. Unfortunately, the country which we longed for and fought so hard to have it has been abused by the same us. It could have been better had South Sudanese leaders cared enough to prove to Arabs why they were wrong in leading us. In so doing, they will know, while we fought them to demand for our freedom, we are capable of managing our country and its affairs.
Lack of basic services has been one of the major challenges facing remote rural communities with less or little has been achieved. In some communities, children don't go to classes as there are no schools. The same to the sick for lack of hospitals. If any, the few available schools and PHCCs are only found in far places. This is difficult for the school going children, sick and pregnant women to walk long hours to get to where these facilities are located. Since they don't have other options, they struggle to go by any means. Sadly, for the critically sick patients, some may not be fortunate enough as they may die in a half way. It is heartbreaking to mention that people in remote rural areas live in a miserable life.
Jane Austen says, "It is not what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” Our leaders seem to concentrate on what they tell citizens other than their actions could tell. The concept of politics is to work for the common good of all. Of many leaders we currently have, their politics have had a way of testing them in the eyes of citizens. Therefore, citizens have lost trust and hope unless in those who have not got opportunities, yet.
On Monday, March 13, 2023, I was taken aback to wake up to a devastated news of sixteen people who succumbed to measle ailment in Mangol Apuk area of Gogrial East County of Warrap state. In that report by No.1 Citizen Newspaper, it is added that unknown figures of both elderly people and children are currently battling the measle illness amid lack of drugs in local PHCU and proper roads to transfer patients under critical conditions as Kuajok teaching hospital is far from the area. Just looking at the number measle has claimed within a short period of time, how many lives will be lost in span of another days to come if no immediate action is taken now?
As I conclude, the leaders of this country should know that “Everything rises and falls on leadership,” as said by John C. Maxwell. South Sudan is believed to be among the richest countries in terms of natural resources. These resources, if they were well managed and used for the benefit of citizens, progress would have been made long time ago. But they are used in a way only powerful individuals benefit and majority of citizens donot. This clearly tells that there is still a work that needs to be done as corruption continues to rob millions of their human rights in our country. It is high time leaders unite for the common good of our state. In this way, the ultimate success of our country will be realized.
The writer is a student of public administration, University of Juba and can be reached via 0922577441 or [email protected]