Dejected, Rejected or Hijacked, at last the term is over: the case of S. Sudan National Youth Union.

By Gum Thany Mon

Four years back In March 2015, the national youth union was established for the first time in the history of our country. The four days convention was under the auspices of president Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit. The event that drawn 233 young people across the former 10 states, two administrative areas and diaspora was held at Freedom hall in Juba. In the first days, the youth deliberated and passed the constitution into law that adopted four year-term in the office though few voices including myself protested that provision.

Initially, there were five candidates vying for presidency of youth: Dr. Albino Bol, Ajang Ajang Lino, Kennedy Gaaniko, Kuc Mayur Kuc and Shadrach Chol Buoi. In the process, three of them declined leaving only Albino Bol and Ajang Ajang as the only contestants. Dr. Albino narrowly won election at 110 to 90 votes against Ajang Ajang. Everyone including we those who were initially not supporting him congratulated him for winning the trust and confident of the then simple majority. In each manifesto including the winner’s, unity and active participation of youth in nation building were in dominant. Whether they are achieved or not is none of my business here.
To most of youth who were opposed to Bol’s coming, four years were viewed to be life long in office. With all odds, the period was endured and finally we have reached to the end. What has been happening to the majority of youth during the long four years is not bothering me now and it has to be left that way.

Now, what triggered me to write this piece is the reluctance of a leader or the few leaders in the office of youth to carry out the convention for the new leadership to come in. I’m not seeing a single step started and this worry not only me but the entire youth across the nation. Whether the leadership is deploying a delaying tactics to keep themselves in the office or are they trying to unilaterally extend their term, still I am perplexed and I stand to be educated before I stop my inquisitiveness. If they have such at the back of their minds, I am afraid, either of the two will not hold water. Before letting us know of their intention, they must first learn from pass experience of the same kind.

For instance, in early 2018, our very transitional national legislative assembly sat and unilaterally extended their political lifespan together with the executive wings. It was a litmus test for our political consciousness towards our nation but dime light was the result. Whether the reasons were so convincing or was it the generation involved, still uncertain but South Sudanese dropped off the case for it was seen as more beneficial.

As South Sudan became a testing ground for everything by everyone, the last leadership of students union in University of Juba followed the same suit with high hope that it might be good with them just like TNLA. The council as the legislative body of the union sat down and in unison, they all agreed to extend their stay in power for other term. The elites of this great institution and at the same time the stakeholders of the union didn’t buy the idea instead they rejected it in its entirety. Few days that followed, their mandate came to an end and eventually they were forced to step aside giving the power to its right owners.

Now to compare the twins scenarios, one would reach to a judgement though without legal background, that anything at our jurisdiction as youth will always be just futile attempts that are considered as the last kicks of the dying horse but yielding fruitless will always be the results. Mark my words Oga.
Therefore, the leadership of youth Union, without wast of time, must speed up the process of handing over this ailing body back to the youth before it is too late in order not to attract more irritations from the dissatisfied youth fraternity. Enough is enough. This desperate attempt of unilateral term extension, in case it is at the pipeline, is not healthy for anyone whose his test of leadership has just started, though many believe that there is nothing left to be rescued. I will never be convinced neither others do, that the issue of money to finance the process is a hindrance to the exercise. In either way, lack of money will never be a scapegoat to keep one in power instead it will remain a cheap idea that anyone of us will never buy.
Not until the new dawn is opened in the youth leadership, I’m not going to be silent anymore.
Just a brotherly advice oh…

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