Mr. Ateny Wek Ateny, the Presidential Press Secretary of the Republic of South Sudan speaks on behalf of the President who doubles as Chancellor for all South Sudanese public universities, during a graduation ceremony for Upper Nile Univeristy in Juba in June, 2016. The author who took the picture on the national television screen (SSTV) feels the president is being robbed of his powers.

I am sorry to OOPS (Office of President Salva) for all the negative publicity it has gathered by ineptitude since independence. The South Sudanese State House is infiltrated by ‘unknown gunmen’, ‘unknown conmen’, ‘unknown penmen’, ‘unknown tribesmen’, and all sorts of goons and crooks. And this, by the way, is the topmost office of the nation! So if a government runs or fails to reign in on the unknown penmen or unknown gunmen, then it could as well be seen as ‘Unknown Government’ rather than the once renowned government of the people.

One of these wacky handlers of the president is Mr. Ateny Wek Ateny. He has undermined the person of the president as an individual, abused his office of the presidential press as a unit and publicly displayed insubordination to the presidency as a whole and a compromise to the image and sovereignty of our nation among the family states of the world. Of course, who else can bypass the president and the co-president in matters international and challenge the US, UN, UK, AU, and all those powers with ‘unity’ in their operations if not our wacky Ateny Wek Ateny and Co.? If the ‘coup stunt’ plotters of 2013 were still aligned, Ateny would have been accused of a coup attempt, wouldn’t he?

Otherwise, how different is it that Agou John is given life imprisonment sentence for forging the president’s signature and seal and not Ateny Wek for forging the president’s words and his pen? In the same vein, he encouraged me to write this opinion when he repeatedly emphasized in Dinka on SBS Radio, “No law should penalize people’s opinions, or law does not forbid personal thinking”. But again, the same law sent Isaiah Abraham to the cemetery and sent Ateny Wek to the presidency, just for criticizing the very president, leave alone impersonating him! As I am writing this sentence, I am constantly being ‘warned’ by some forces in my head not to risk mention the names that be! Only that I am doing it for the good of the president and for the good of the nation, aren’t I?

This does not stop me from pointing out to the president that his habit of cushioning instead of cautioning or even banning the propaganda band of Ateny Wek, Gordon Buay, Michael Makuei and Lul Ruai may backfire on his legacy. The speaking gang and their untamed tongues will boomerang on the nation and population of South Sudan, unless a serious look is given them.Due to their loose utterances against the international community and in violation of the peace agreement, the nation is feeling the pinch.

In matters ethical, as a parent and a disciple of discipline, I have learned that a child that has been pampered is not worth the child that has been tampered with. But Uncle Kiir by his leniency of negligence is donating his hard-earned legacy to this conflict-hardened ardent team of firebrand loyalists at the expense of his own history. One cannot imagine how much image of his the JCE (Jieng Council of Elders) had grabbed in the run up to the peace agreement. I say, Ateny and the clique should be tamed before he writes or utters another diplomatically damaging blunder. Or just wait and see!

By blatantly declaring on the Australian-based SBS Radio in Dinka, “I have the powers to write on behalf of the president and the first vice president,” I was shocked and then wondered if such employees are not first made to read their ToRs (Terms of Reference) before signing the contract. Assuming they are conversant with their job descriptions besides the National Constitution, and have understood their work ethics from colleges and social ethics from colleagues or their communities, where does the mistake come from?

One LeaderFrom the SSTV’s daily sung decrees with ‘Powers Conferred Upon Me (The President) by the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan’, where does it pass Mr. Press Secretary and his accomplices that it is suicidal to usurp powers from His Excellency, the Constitutionally and Democratically Elected One Leader by the One People for the One Nation…to borrow an embarrassingly plagiarized slogan stolen from the Nazi archives of Adolf Hitler: ‘Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer’ or ‘One People, One Nation, One Leader’, a taboo Nazi’s dictatorial propaganda slogan that is now being chanted for Kiir in his rallies on his SSBC (SS’TB’). Moreover, Ateny dare undermine the Supreme Commander of All Armed Forces and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army’!

As if that is not enough, Ateny Wek and the crowd around the president acquire their powers from a messed up protocol. For instance, those who watched SSTV late May 2016 will bear me witness of where the president’s journalist receive his powers. As seen in the picture shared above, Mr. Ateny is seen introduced as representative of the Chancellor, who is the president, and is in full graduation gown here, speaking on the president’s behalf!

Another incident that brought Ateny head-on with me was the so-called peace rally held by the Vice President, H.E. James Wani Igga and Minister for Mining, Hon. Taban Deng. Ateny Wek, the Presidential Press Secretary was seated as if occupying the seat of the president beside the VP, the Minister and the Deputy Minister, Hon. Akol Paul Kordit. And I was like, that man should sit at the desk  marked ‘Press’ or ‘Secretaries’!

In addition to that, as I led my group in a peaceful match in front of them in the KICC hall with placards urging them to hold those rallies in the field beginning from Juba and IDP/PoC camps, Mr. Ateny jumped up with a long finger to one of the placards held by Eligo Dak Gabriel, “We don’t have prisoners of war (POWs)!” The placards that tempted my friend read, “Release all the Prisoners of War (POWs)” and “Stop Death by Unknown Gunmen”. A week after he left Nairobi for Juba, Hon. Makuei (Info Minister and Gov’t Spox) went on SSTV (now SSBC) and announced, among others, the release of all the POWs as part of the resolution of the Presidency, backed up by the Council of Ministers. We then wondered if Ateny does really read his own news OoPS-K.

Yes, that doubt is cast the way he reacts to news emanating from his own office. This is also seen in another defiance he made against the highly awaited breaking news of the formation of the National Boundary Committee to look into the controversial 28 States’ Presidental Decree. Despite the fact that the Presidency’s resolution being jointly released by FVP Dr. Riek Machar and VP Wani Igga on SS(BC)TV the ‘President Without Fortpolio’ (Ateny Wek) rubbished the J1’s resolutions the morning after with the following statements:

“The importance of the committee is specifically to settle the borders and see the problems that bother the states. The committee can come up with a recommendation to increase the number of states but it’s impossible that it could be less than 28 states. Because nobody will accept that his state will be removed. Nobody will want that. Whose state will be removed and whose state will remain,” he asked while inciting the public and negating the task of the committee on looking at the number of the states. The same position was made by the longest serving adviser (usually a permanent adviser without borders), Tor Deng Mawien, who doubles as a president’s next of kin. The public reaction was not accounted for by the Presidency, so Mr. Ateny continued to exploit this negligence.

Well, this piece of my mind is not strictly about my friend, the presidential scribe, Mr. Ateny Wek Ateny. It is a sample about the whole system. I am just worried, like the rest of the onlookers into this office, that the saying that the rotting in the fish begins from the head is being demonstrated in that office at the apex of the nation.

Yes, I am being a daredevil in writing this opinion after the yesterday’s blog call to ‘Liberate the Liberator’ because I am concerned that the president of the republic is being messed up. Some people, until the shocking life sentence to the Presidency staffers less than 24 hours ago in Juba, believe that the head of our state is the president of a people, for a people and by a people. That is why they behave like they own him. The president has been literally hijacked. Some use his name to melt down some ethical steel in the government servants so that they steal from the public services.

Others ostensibly patch the president’s face onto theirs and use it to break open some stiff doors for unhindered access. That is why they enter the Central Bank and order bundles of dollars in the name, signature and seal of the president. This has been a tradition. Indeed, it has.

Chamileone girl

A Ugandan artist, Jose Chameleone almost raped some South Sudanese big man’s daughter (the same girl in question here) on the stage at Nyakuron Cultural Centre, Juba. Photo by the author.

To prove that, I witnessed a shameful scene at the gate of Nyakuron Cultural Centre in 2011. Some 4 ‘Security Officers from the Office of the President’ wanted to drive in with 6 cute babes. When the gate men asked the gentlemen for tickets, they flashed their ‘Security ID Cards’. This did not go down well with a Ugandan supervisor of the show of Jose Chameleone. He tried to question the motives and decency of these soldiers flashing their sensitive cards in front of a crowd-packed gate to somebody’s private business. He was whispered down, “Sssssshh, they are from the Office of the President!” So the naïve foreigner coiled back into his folds, “Oops, sorry!” That’s when this writer acquired the acronym that Kiir’s office of the president is ‘OoPS-K’. Wait a minute, this is why I term it ‘shameful’: One of the babes on their ‘Sekiirity’ officers’ high table drunkenly threw her naked self onto the stage and climbed on the foreign artist and rocked him with a taboo nudity the way you see it in this picture>! However, on the other side of the city slum, the security operatives were beating up and undressing girls who went about in minis. I call it ‘hypokiirisy’!

To recap it by repeating the call, he, out of the ‘Troika Jr. Band’ (Makuei, Buay, Lul), Mr. Ateny must have some secret bond with The Big One: something peculiar, particular, familiar or familial…? Otherwise, someone must have been shown the J1 door long ago. Really, Gen. Kiir loves donating his legacy to non-entities of the nation. I pity him a lot.

As usual, I do not do my concluding without including something for the debate’s continuity. However, before I do that, I am hereby clarifying that I have no interest in calling for the sacking of Ateny Wek because I am no more vying for his position in the OoPS, having turned down the offer a few years ago. As detailed early in another blog article like this under the heading: WHY I TURNED DOWN A JOB DECREE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, my interest is first to let the office get reformed so that any citizen or I can safely work there. I mentioned ‘safely work there’ because it is a risk to one’s life and career. Thank God, I was going to be the 17th inmate for the next 72 years in Juba Maximum Prison if I had not detected that I was in for a booby trap in February 2014. I was appointed by the Director-General in the Office of the President, the same Mr. Mayen Wol and placed as a journalist, and editor, a speech writer, a PR, etc. sharing the same office with Mr. Chaat Paul and Mr. Kur Ayuen, both of whom are now in prison with their bosses, colleagues, secretaries, contacts and accomplices.

So for those who condemned me and are still calling me a mad man for refusing an appointment to the most coveted job in the land, was I wrong to take that action? And the debate continues until the reform is accomplished. Amen! I mean, am in…for it!