NATIONAL DELIBERATION FOR THE NATION
With Odongo Odoyo
A friend nagged me into accepting to attend the on-going National Dialogue delegates’ conference on Wednesday. He had this inner urge that he wanted to prove that there were more people going there uninvited and who remained idle at the expense of other activities of Nation building. I did not agree with him because the list of delegates was clearly defined even before the conference started. Some people who had gone there earlier with the hope of being included on the spot had a rude shock as they were turned away. The administration of the conference were hawk eyed to ensure only those selected in different categories were allowed entry and only administration staff were given that opportunities. Observers were allowed on identification. Still my friend could not give in. He was sure that some idle bodies were wasting time there in and around the Freedom Hall doing nothing while they should be productive on other national duties or assignments. What was wrong with people witnessing the on-going even if they were not invited? They had a stake in the possible positive results which could shape the destiny of the country. It was a collective participation which had brought the country this far. One needs to understand that for such a national concern in place, indeed it catches the eyes and the interests outside the box. People would want to associate with such events even if their participation was almost nil. They would still be there and see the event’s process through. The reason(s) which drove many people to the venue was to be counted in the history books that they equally had been there. They would help make part of that history for the future generation. I brought my friend’s attention on so many steps that brought the event of the national conference into being. It was the beginning and part of the long journey to peace in the country. It was a journey the leadership and the country walked together to be able to have the token of appreciation in the name of peace. It was a journey worth taking with clear mind and upright attitude. It is therefore my fact that for the success of the national dialogue, apart from the delegates, a larger population should be able to follow its deliberation to the last day and understand well in every context, the deliberations intended to be presented to the government for final approval and execution. It is great that the brain-child of President Salva Kiir Mayardit which came into being about two years ago is now being realized for the role it has and continue to play in the well-being and peace initiative in the country. Like the majority population, there is high hopes that the final recommendations from the event will usher the country to freedom of hostility and enable all to love one another and the country where everyone lives in peace and treat one another as one people one nation.