Bridging the Gaps of Misunderstandings among Gambellian Community

Minneapolis, MN, April 21, 2013 (GSN) - I don’t know why the fuzz about a Nuer man in the leadership. Mr Gatluak ascension to power is under fire by tiny disgruntled Ayuaks, in the Diasporas, and at home in Ethiopia.

To tell you the truth I do not understand why the protest, why the worry? I don’t get it, no I don’t. Last week Gatluak was chosen for the leadership of Gambella by all regional parliamentarians. According, the selection, election was done, conducted in full view of all the members assembled in the assembly that day. If some family members of the disgruntled were there during the preceding some I believe had already casted, and voted in favor of Gatluak or they might had protested it in dissention, what happened inside parliament, remains inside the parliament, that’s a normal. It is the working of parliamentary democracy.

What we have in Gambella is not a process presidential democracy like we have here in the United States where the winner takes all, with opposition still with enough power, provided to them by the constitution to interfere in the executive decisions making. That’s why we have a messy working congress in the US with some congressional delegates, becoming road blocks, dragging, the congress, opposing all important legislations they don’t like, stopping them from reaching the congressional floor.  No in parliamentary democracy one wouldn’t do that kind of business, it is done deal; in parliamentary democracy the decision lies with executive. It’s a smooth working environment; it is good for development, especially it is a good system for a developing world, that’s why many in the developing preferred parliamentary democracy, than the presidential democracy.

According, to the information we have received so far, Ato Gatluak name was the last name to have been mentioned, after all the names was read, failed secure the winning votes in the parliament,. Hence Mr. Gatluak emerged as winners of the votes casted by the parliamentarians in the in the assembly; therefore, he was declared the Governor of the state. As of today he is the governor of Gambella entrusted with the authority to run the state. Some of us might have not agreed with this news, that’s fine, normal. But what’s abnormal is if the grumbling, murmuring continued making it difficult for the functioning democratization to move forward in full gears.

So why the fuzz about Gatluakk? isn’t too late to be protesting, and to be boycotting? Look Mr. Gatluak has already been declared a leader; he must be respect from now on. We shouldn’t prejudge him of his ethnicity; the general public must know that.  It is not Anyuawa downfall as has been speculated. No it is not. Just wipe your tears, eat food, drink, enjoy because it is not the end of Anyuawa. The Anyuawa as community is still intact, working, surviving, reviving.

What happened is historical phenomenon, will continue like that without interruptions. Some must view this historical making the wrong way, it is okay. We could learn more from the federalism project.  What we need now is cope, adapt to the prevailing wind of change. We have to conquer the fear that lies within us of others. Because it is counterproductive, it wouldn’t take us anywhere.

You see,, let me give you a brief lesson of history from the far east, it may be, china, for Chinese leaders for many centuries have fear of outsiders, they called them the “barbarian” verses them the “civilized” China, sanctioned their people from getting contact with outside world. Before that China which was a sea fairing nation which had trade with other nations around, afar, exchanged, imported goods with outside world. But all these stopped when successive Chinese emperors ordered the nation to have no contact with outside world. One effect from draconian orders was the stopping of boats building, followed by China becoming a lame duck, frozen to death with no progress coming in or going out.

You see if read history, you will find out that Chinese people were the first people to have had contact with outside world, not the men from Europe as we were told to be. But that’s another topic, let me go back to China, after the death of Cheng the unifier of China, the new successors to his throne did their best to open up a little to the world but without success, until the revolution of Mao Zedong, which bought the normal relation with the outside world, improved, the lots of Chinese people. After Mao’s’ death, a man name Deng Xiaoping open his country to America they feared the most, saying “it doesn’t matter whether the cat is white or black as long as it catches mice”.

You see where I am coming from, what I am conveying here using other as examples, it is doesn’t matter whether it is Nuer or Anyuwaa, Megengir, Opuo, they all are Gambella people. 

One thing we keep forgetting is that to live together as community of Gambella in peace, and in harmony one’s group rights, must not override others groups rights, if one group violates other people rights, one’s group right is going to be in jeopardy. It is simply understood, here in America the idiom goes “If you scratch my back, I scratch your back, it true in other societies too.

In his treaty the leviathan, Thomas Hobbes argued that the sovereign derives his legitimacy from unwritten social contract by which individual gives up his natural liberty to do as he pleases in order to secure his own rights to life which would otherwise be threatened by “wars of everyman against everyman”, he was talking about the pre-modern primitive societies. In our case today we have written laws protecting individual rights, also shouldering individuals entrusted for public offices with responsibility, and accountability. So it is not free ride, leaders have some constraints which prevents them from doing as they pleases. The game you know, one doesn’t mix pleasure with public duty. 

 Sources: Amhare Gilo is Studied Political Science at Minnesota State University, Mankato

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