JUBA – South Sudan Vice President for Economic Cluster Dr. James Wani Igga has claimed that there were no facts as to if the Jonglei Canal would have incurred risk on the people of South Sudan, but the SPLA closed it down anyway for propaganda purposes.
Igga was speaking during the closing session of the public consultation on water resources management organized by experts after President Salva Kiir Mayardit ordered halt to all dredging-related activities along the River Nile following a sustained public outcry.
“This is how we will control the issue of Jonglei [Canal]. I am sorry, it was those of us who were students at that time in the 1970s. But as Dr. Riek said today, we were doing it for political expediency. We wanted to become independent and anybody who was against us to get our independent, we worked against him,” Igga said.
Political expediency means something you do to advance yourself politically. It is used to hint that a particular solution or strategy has certain benefits and advantages but is not completely fair. However, expedient can also be used as a noun to describe something practical for a particular purpose.
“So, we kept up with these stories, ‘oh, these three million Egyptians will be kept in … exaggerating stories, but all of us were students and it is this exaggeration that took us in big numbers to go and fight. Now the small boys, I mean the youth, will not hear. But some of the youth talking on social media do not know how we came to protest in big numbers about the Jonglei Canal,” Wani said.
“So, we have made our objective and it is now time that we are now the one in charge for the welfare of the people by going after facts through expediency. So whatever fear that the water will all run away, run away how and there is control?” Wani asked.
Igga said that some people are accusing First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who was presence at the venue, of supporting the dredging initiative because he comes from Unity State, but said he supports the initiative but does not come from Unity state.
“We are scared for no reasons comrades. These issues are very important if we don’t say them, they will never be said again and I am happy that Dr. Riek is …. And don’t take his statement because he is coming from Bentiu and it is the people of Bentiu who are drowning, what we saw, no,” Wani said.
“I am supporting dredging, am I coming from Bentiu? But is because of the welfare of our people, we don’t care you come from which community; facts must be said we should not associate with, and this one is becoming politics. We must rescue the people of Panyijiar, we must rescue the people of Bor and the rest of Jonglei,” he added.
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