Speaker James Wani Igga gives spirited defense of the government of South Sudan

Category: Diaspora
Published on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 08:19
Written by Panther kuol, The New Sudan Vision (NSV), www.newsudanvision.com
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james wani_iggaKitchener, Ontario, Canada--On Sunday, October 28, 2012 Honorable James Wani Igga, the Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly of the Republic of South Sudan, was graciously welcomed by South Sudanese Canadians residing in Kitchener/Waterloo region and surrounding areas. At a time when the citizens are hurting and disillusioned by the current state of affairs in our country, it was fitting and reassuring to see the third most important person in South Sudan come to the defense of his government and the ruling party policies in the way that he did.

By the way, for those who have never met Honorable James Wani Igga in person, he is a short guy but with very TALL IDEAS for the new nation. He demonstrated intellect, charisma and a sense-of humor - all of which have been in short supply from the top leadership in recent years.

The speaker began his lecture by walking his audience through the history of Sudan. For the sake of the children and those who never had the opportunity to learn the "true" history of Sudan/South Sudan, the speaker painstakingly "unearthed our roots" to times preceding the birth of Christ. Although his facts will be left for historians to validate, he was effective in theorizing both religiously and scientifically how we were the first humans on earth. His message resonated well with South Sudanese as he effectively urged them to "walk with your heads held high above your shoulders and overcome inferiority complexes".

Ancient history aside, the speaker was quick to remind the Southerners about the history of their modern struggle to achieve freedom. While he welcomes competing visions from other political parties, he rightly pointed to the fact that it was the SPLM/SPLA that guided South Sudanese through the tumultuous journey to Independence. He pointed to the CPA and development initiatives of the last 7 years such as the modernization of Juba-Nimule road (the first of its kind since God created South Sudan) as some of the several achievements of the current Government.

On the issue of Corruption, he highlighted various initiatives of the Government such as the empowerment of the anti-corruption commission. The commission has now been armed to teeth with sweeping powers to prosecute corrupt officials, he says. Comrade Wani Igga also alleged that the parliament has already passed resolutions to bring to book those who are responsible for the stolen $4 billion dollars, and that they are awaiting for a response from the executive council. While acknowledging the prevalence of corruption in South Sudan, the speaker was quick to point out that our issue might have been exaggerated in the media.

Pointing to existing corruption-index statistics, he said that the levels of corruption in the neighboring countries such as Sudan, Kenya and Uganda are far greater than ours. Weary of being misquoted on this biased comparison, the speaker firmly asserted that what has gone wrong in South Sudan must be righted, independent of what is going on elsewhere. Without mentioning any names, he talked about “few bad onions” and he cautions that if these “few bad onions” are not uprooted, they risk spoiling the good name of everyone. The citizens will be anxiously waiting to see if his actions in the ROSS parliament will speak louder than his tough talk in Canada.

Pressed on the issue of discrimination of South Sudanese Diaspora at the Juba International Airport, the Honorable speaker claimed that he had not been aware of the fact that ROSS citizens from Diaspora without proper South Sudanese documents are paying more for entry visa compared to aliens from East Africa. The speaker promised to investigate the matter thoroughly and people in the Diaspora can rest assured he will keep his word. On a related topic, the honorable speaker underscored Government's keenness to establishing a full embassy in Canada once the funding situation improves.

On the grand scheme of things, the speaker believes that security and unity of the people are the prerequisites for development in South Sudan. The sacrifices that have been made during the war are too great and the speaker challenged leaders and citizens alike to overcome tribalism and nepotism, as they risk dooming the achievements we have made thus far. He urged all the “scattered” people of South Sudan to garner a renewed sense of patriotism and tranquility. He invites every citizen to return home and contribute in the development of the new nation, the Republic of South Sudan.