SPLM leadership must keep messaging discipline

Category: Writing aboard the Kenya Airways: A story on coming to Rwanda for the first time
Published on Friday, 09 April 2010 16:46
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Akol Aguek

(VERMONT, USA) - The lack of discipline within the SPLM in the wake of debates on the “boycott vs withdrawal” left many Southerners wondering if our leaders will ever politically mature to maintain their message discipline in public.

Here is how you do it folks: after you have made an unpopular decision, you then distribute the talking points to your spokespersons, and have them stick to that message during their press conferences or private interviews.

Interestingly, I decided to move on over this issue when I asked the SPLM leadership to grow up long, long time ago. Of course, they haven’t given the awkwardness of this week's public outbursts when all the key players went out on press conference sprees and started contradicting each other and they haven’t stopped since then.

I bet the journalists on the ground are spoiled because it seems to me that almost all of them have scoops as long as they have a chance to ask any SPLM politician a simple question.

I watched this political drama with some kinds of amazements because it was as if our leaders were given “political ropes” to hang themselves within the eyes of the general public.

Well, here is what you need to do now going forward: Please, please, go back to the room now, and come forward with one message, and stick to it in public even if it needs to be modified over time. The other thing you need to do is to control your press conference addicts to steer clear from the media if they think they can’t stick to the talking points. This idea of uncontrolled public outbursts needs to stop!

I am totally embarrassed, though amazed as well, by this week's drama! But if my embarrassment was the only issue here, I would retire to bed and sleep well but it is not. We have millions of lives at stakes in the hands of these individuals who address life and death matters like grade school kids playing on their school backyard! It got to stop, period!

Akol Aguek Ngong is Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Vermont. He regularly contributes to the NewSudanVision.Com