By James Gatdet Dak
March 25, 2010 (JUBA) – In his campaign trail which has
already covered states of Greater Upper Nile and Greater
Equatoria, the incumbent President of the semi-autonomous
Southern Sudan and contestant to maintain his presidential
seat in the upcoming April elections, Salva Kiir Mayardit,
has advised the people of Southern Sudan to vote wisely
during the April elections and referendum in January 2011.
Saliva Kiir Mayadrit
Kiir urged the voters to vote for his
party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), saying
it is the only party that would make the people of Southern
Sudan to cross the river to the Promised Land.
Addressing a huge rally in Mundri town of
Western Equatoria state, Kiir said it would be up to the
choice of the people of Southern Sudan to either vote for
unity of the country and remain “second class citizens” or
vote for secession and establish their own independent state.
He said he wanted all the SPLM official
candidates to be elected back into offices by the citizens
so that they complete the good work they have been doing.
“I want Costello Manibe back and you must
bring him back,” he told the crowd in Mundri in his direct
reference to the current GoNU minister of Cabinet Affairs
and contestant for a parliamentary seat in the constituency.
In Yambio, the capital of Western
Equatoria state, Kiir equally gave support to the incumbent
Caretaker governor, Jemma Nunu Kumba, and the rest of party
candidates in the state.
Kiir and his deputy, Dr. Riek Machar, have
left almost empty their presidency offices in Juba for the
most part of this month as the top two leaders have been
jointly campaigning and mobilizing their supporters for the
election to the presidency and giving support to their
junior party candidates.
“Dr. Riek Machar is the Vice President and
also the deputy chairman of the party. Whenever I traveled
outside, Dr. Riek Machar always remained in charge of
government in Juba, and when he went for a mission, I
remained in Juba, but now you can see us moving together and
campaigning for the elections,” Kiir said.
The Southern Sudan president, who doubles
as chairman of SPLM, has since 24th February campaign launch
in Juba, declared his incumbent deputy as his “running
mate.” In every rally he addressed across the region he
always publicly declared Dr. Machar as his next Vice
President if he wins the elections, as the two leaders
always held their hands up and waving them to the voters,
chanting “SPLM oyeee, unity oyeee.”
Kiir in the rallies also kept reminding
the voters not to look for Dr. Machar’s separate box and
picture during the elections, saying Machar’s box will be in
his [Kiir] box, explaining that they will either win or fail
“If you vote for me and I win the
elections, Dr. Riek Machar will continue to be my deputy in
the government, and if I fail, I will also fall on his head,”
he told the rally in Mundri County of Western Equatoria
Machar on his part always urged the people
of Southern Sudan to vote for his chairman and president,
Salva Kiir, whom he said had made achievements during the
last five years.
While in Wau, Kiir warned of the threats
caused by the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and
Ambororo nomadic tribe that roam the western parts of
Southern Sudan. He said the LRA was moving back to Southern
Sudan from Darfur from where they were armed to cause
insecurity in the South during the elections.
Though Kiir did not mention by name those
that armed the LRA, he however assured that his government
would deal with the situation and contain it.
The two leaders and their campaign team
are expected to cover all the four states of Greater Bahr el
Ghazal this week.
The polling days are expected to open on
11th April, at 8:00AM to 6:00PM and will continue for three
days until 13th April.