collo

By Dr. Peter Adwok Otto

Mr. Mayak Deng Aruei a doctoral aspirant student wrote an article posted on South Sudan Nation website by the title “Shilluk Kingdom a Monarchy Belittled and Betrayed by its own sons” I read the good for nothing piece with distress and disdain to say the least. Was it an apprentice training in critique theoretician practice? Else it would be swallowed with much fluid to lubricate the gullet. Otherwise, it merits as a condemnatory temperament and clearly an insult to the kingdom and Collo intelligentsias. The author posed sympathy with the kingdom but with a deep-seated wish for its demise that can hardly be obscured.  This kingdom had experienced the seemingly unsurmountable odds of challenges from both foes and imposters over ages, yet emerged again and again. Mr. Mayak you are intent to discourage the sons and daughters of the kingdom from franchise of their inalienable rights to discharge their noble obligations towards the nation that needs every single man’s and woman’s capabilities to let it float. In a classroom every classroom in every school or institutions of higher learning, meritocracy is not determined by the number of the ethnical, racial or color of the students, but by the IQ and qualitative mental exertion by each and every student otherwise every country would be like South Sudan that has not toddle since birth.

Your article is infested by contradictory ideologies that rendered it non credible and reflective of political naivety. There are Collo people in all disciplines professors, doctors engineers, teachers etc., who are doing their best for building of the nascent nation. Why single out the politicians and military personnel? Whose noble role you do not seem to appreciate and mitigate. Ambition is a God given instinctive quality and a positive one, it is the ambition to achieve and improve your qualitative life to be academic or otherwise that propelled you for a PhD program. It is what makes animals forge territories like the cats, birds and fight to win the favor of the female to pass on their genes into the next offspring this is science at its preliminary Mr. Mayak. It is the “Born To Rule” myth that you foster in disguise.

Each and every tribe counts in the development of our nation especially the intellectuals this is the essence and crux of the matter not the quantity if you understand what I mean. Politics as an intriguing and a complex social behavior is excelled by few of the cream of people, who should essentially metamorphose into statesmanship and this is not a strange phenomenon with the Shilluk as it has been a part of the Kingdom and training imparted un to all adults for centuries as part for problem solving leadership mechanism and not for presidency of South Sudan which make some of you bickering and irritant. So there is no way you can dissuade the Collo intellectuals to desist from ambition for the threat that their land will be made a death corridor.

It is true that many Kingdoms in South Sudan had eventually disappeared for example the great Azande kingdom that was split between the two brothers Gbudue and Tumbura. Yet the problem came from within and not by external factors. However, the communities that experienced organized central system of political resilience are peaceful till today, and open to other communities as evident by inter-marriages for human social relationships and not for political purposes. Therefore, when Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak married a lady from Bor, was not for political leverage, but he was a general before he married, neither did the Hon. daughter of paramount chief Edward Amum Okiec married   Nyachigak not for any political considerations. When you come back home, you will be amazed by thousands of Collo girls are married to all the tribes of the South Sudanese as well as foreigners and vice versa without a tinge of political connotations.

The idea that Shilluk Kingdom is in peril because of its own sons are ambitious to lead is but a diabolic wishful hatred. The author labeled the Shilluk as easy going, good to work with, and are nationalist etc. Then what else remains? Can you not work with them in the palace, parliament, hospital or ministries’? If you are truthful about your sentiments, who then coin the phrase “Shilluks are trouble makers”, because the two characters will not go together. It is likely those of you who resent to orderly scheme of things, or how else could it be termed. Might be it will be prudent to give some tips to the young scholar things that could earn him some insight in his dissertation defense later about the history of his country ‘s component nationalities.

America as a new found land had come to the notice of the world by landing of Christopher Columbus’ ships in 1492 voyage to the America. At about the same period of time way down in the interior of Africa, an African native in the cradle of Lwoo community around Rumbek in Bahr el Ghazal region, in the current Republic of South Sudan in 1490AD, a man called Nyikang wad Okwa was expected to have been born, and at 27, (1490-1517) started hatching and steering a potential migration that would give birth to a system(kingdom) called COLLO KINGDOM. Even without a written language then, the Kingdom yet persevered with perfection that would perplex historians, politicians and faith-based denominations as to how a non-written system and history would survive the test of time and odds of cultural competition, and this long.

When Columbus’ ships docked in the Bahamas, and later on accrediting discovery of America to him, the motives were largely for pioneering discoveries for new trade grounds, especially the quest for a shortcut cut to India.  Nyikang on the other hand, had neither trade pioneering adventures nor kings to appease, but rather to evade family feud with his elder brother Diwaad over the ambition who should succeed his late father Okwa wad(son) Mol wad Kolo wad Omaro wad Odhiang. The lineage was taken further to include Odhiang(Nyadhiang Aduk) being the son of Diwaad son of Oyel the son of Carcre who was the son of Lwor (Eng. Angelo Othow Nyikang an engineer slain by simpleton young kids that devastated Malakal in 2004) The Kingdom of Collo people was established in 1545 A.D. after the arrival into the current  Collo land. The kingdom of Collo is peculiar in that no resemblance with the contemporary monarchies that existed in Europe, Asia and Africa indeed that it’s not a totalitarian nor a full swing democratic system, where there is an accepted peaceful alternating power sharing between dynasty linages of predecessor kings with strict code of respect for chances. Thus, the king is chosen from among several princes, as usually there are several queens (kings are essentially polygamous) according to criteria set forth by the most important oral constitution. Among the conditions set forth for such selection is that the would be king should not be left-handed, not a coward should have not been wounded in battle or otherwise. He should be known to be good natured to secure that he will execute the will of the people and never abuse his powers. Unlike in other monarchies, there would be an entitled prince who will take over the power after father, occasionally this is settled by force between rivals in a nut-shell an ambitious wrangling episodes. This system is at best a blend between autocratic and democratic values.

While the American declaration of independence on 4th July 1776 A.D., marks the beginning of dynamic cascade for the making of the nation and American system, this puts the Collo Kingdom at a clean 231 years ahead of American independence and system of rule. The early years of Nyikang and his sons including Dak wad Nyikang (not yet Reth) who was described asturbulent Machiavellian were spent in territorial expansion wars until establishment of the Kingdom was accomplished and safeguarded. Thus, Nyikang had been accepted as the father of the Collo nation, like General George Washington who led the revolutionary war, until 1783 when peace was realized. But after permanent constitution, United States was formed in 1789 with more than 13 states to the union. On the other end, Dak Wad Nyikang is credited with stability of the Kingdom after defeating and dispelling many enemies. The unwritten history of Collo Kingdom survived up to date through oral history, songs, social practices, burials and many other rituals. On the contrast, the American history and system is well documented not by the aborigines who also never had written history (the Red Indians), but by the European settlers who were literate from their countries of origin in Europe.

Nyikang performed as if he read the “MAGNA CARTA” which is viewed as the most important legal document in the history on democracy in 1297 AD. 248 years later a semi-democratic kingdom was established in Collo land. Its definite to say Nyikang had no access to the document because of distance and literacy barriers. This the genius that forged the relations with the neighbors, not compromising the sovereignty of course. Mr. scholar, as you reside in America the home of modern democracy in which the founders had incorporated part of Magna Carta into their constitution in the form of Bill of Rights as a justification for liberty’s defense to be equal to the Englishmen, you should manifest the ideals to be a role model sort of, to rectify the decoy democratic process at the helms of things here and drop the majority tribe perceptions.

Changing ideas is the mainstay of conceptual ideologies as dictated by underlying understandings in a particular setting. Thus, it will be naïve to reproach career politicians for shifting sides when deemed appropriate and opportune for the good of the masses. Because consistency in principals contravenes fixed trend of frozen counter productivity minds. Thus the vulgar language of “political prostitute” is a misnomer uttered by bankrupted political midgets. Any way why would a principal politician (statesman) continue supporting a corrupt, klyptocratic bad governance? About General Johnson Olony, he is a hero of the people because he rose-up against grabbing of Collo land by the very father of the nation that was supposed to protect that right. How would you separate the national issues from peoples’ concerns anyway? Because it is these peoples who make up the nation. You can talk of a functional vehicle without putting the parts in the right places. For instance, you cannot take the steering wheel and use it as the fuel tank, your car will not move. If the issue of Collo land and indeed other peoples’ lands were amicably addressed, he would not have revolted. He also responded to the challenge of the massacre of innocent civilians by Nuer in Malakal who he dislodged. When Juba regime was convinced that he had defeated government enemies, his turn to be finished dawned, because Malakal was given away by the Dinka to Dinka. His deputy General Bwogo was ambushed and murdered on his way to Akoka to settle a dispute by Apadang Dinka. He waited three days for some high ranking SPLA officer from H/Q in Juba so as to bury the dead general, no one came, a signal that he was a target. Gen. Bwogo was killed with six of his body guards the way George Athor died. These are some hard facts the scholar turned a blind eye on in an act of conspiracy of silence. Until we learn to call spade a spade no high degrees will save us. Johnson Olony did not conscript child soldiers. This is a propaganda driven by hatred. By African standards, initiation into manhood starts about 16 years, these young fellows volunteered because the white army that killed their parents and looted properties in Malakal were their age groups, no one was paying them. The Mathiang Anyor are the child soldiers because they are in government payroll.

Those who blame the 1991 split are right in the context of the innocent lives that were loss. But in its own merit, it was a blessing in disguise in the sense that wanton killing in the SPLA ceased. Many important people like Benjamil Bol Akok, Malath, Matin Majer the list is long were murdered, secondly democracy crept into SPLM/SPLA factual thinking leading to Chikudum convention in 1994. Thirdly and most importantly, the Self-Determination was forcefully retrieved from the dustbin of Sudanese political history and found its way into the constitution of the Sudan to mature later into the overwhelming vote for freedom. The scholar can guest the champions not to accuse people’s ambitions that are fulfilled. It is incumbent on the Dinka intellectuals to pull the reigns of JCE’s horses to safe South Sudan from splintering, because President Salva Kiir has defeated the purpose of independence of the hard won country and almost radicalized all other downtrodden tribes. The only way to help our country is unity in diversity and inclusivity no elephants no rats.

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