By James Gai Tot Deng
November 21, 2014 (SSNA) -- This is a piece of an opinion authored to bring to light how dangerous in the political arena is Dr Riek Gai Kok. For those of you who do not know him,,Riek Gai is the current Minister of Health in the cabinet of Salva Kiir( aka Kuethpiny Atem) and had served in many political posts when he was a diehard NCP cadre. The guy began as a Captain in the SPLA in-charge of medical supplies in Kapoeta soon after finishing his military training from the SPLA school of Political Ideologies and war strategies at Bonga in Ethiopia.
When the movement split into Nasir and Torit factions respectively, he joined the Nasir faction and rose rapidly to the rank of commander and was appointed to the NLC membership, the second highest decision making body after INEC in the Akobo Convention in 1994 .Those accelerated promotions were predicated on educational qualifications and most importantly against Justice John Luk who had a shaky working relationships with Dr Riek Machar. Riek Gai was reported to have had a hand in the arrest of John Luk in 1993-94.
He was among those who persuaded Dr Riek Machar, not with the best of intentions, to sign the political charter in 1997 with Khartoum Government which culminated in the conclusion of Khartoum peace agreement. Subsequent to that, he was appointed as a governor of Jonglei State and served two terms. When the Khartoum peace agreement was ratified by a Republican decree no 14, Dr Riek Machar formed UDSF, which became the political wing of SSDF as the South Sudan Defense Forces later became known. Behind the scene, Riek Gai, who is none the wiser, and given his natural lust for power, defected to the NCP and was appointed Deputy Secretary General.
Through wits and witches, he rose to become Deputy NCP Chairman and in-charge of Southern Sector. Riek Gai who is known for being a self-seeking politician with a sense of ego-centrism, fell out with many NCP leaders in the persons of Dr Nafie Ali Nafie and Ustaz Ali Osman as well as all the Southern politicians in the North. He was hated to death and he was spared only by Omer Al Bashir who, out of humane sympathy, made him to stay in the political hierarchy of NCP. He vehemently contributed in the falling out of Turabi and Omer Al Bashir. It is worth mentioning that he was siding with Turabi in the first place, but because of his betrayals and cowardice, he changed side to Omer Al Bashir and was the first to congratulate Omer Al Bashir when Turabi and his aides were thrown into Kober prison. He was crowned as one of the golden boys in the NCP epicenter to the extent that he was married off an Arab lady who later separated from him because of his being polygamous and inconsistency.
Riek Gai on several occasions used to utter political rhetorics that he would never coalesce with the Dinka under any circumstances and the author is today baffled to see the guy licking the boots of Salva and at one time seen addressing the Dinka in Rumbek in a broken Dinka language during the inauguration of Mayardit Women's hospital, a signal of allegiance to Salva and the Dinka.
With the signing of the CPA leading up to the Independence, he was brought to Juba by Dr Majak Agot, then the Deputy Director General of NISS in Khartoum to reconcile him with the SPLM leadership and most importantly Salva Kiir. Later on he stabbed in the back the same Majak who accommodated him in a very expensive Juba Regency Hotel behind John Garang International School where he is still residing up to now.
Being very good at manipulating people and a consummate liar by nature,he managed to infiltrate the Presidential camp using small boys around the President. The author has been informed that he was one of those who advised Salva Kiir to sack Riek Machar on false testimony that he has no popularity in the Nuer territory. It later turned out that the President was tempted by these power hungry and self-fish Nuer politicians and now regretting. Riek Gai and company are responsible for the lives and properties lost because they misled the President through blackmailing and dishonest manipulations. I pray that the souls of the innocent Nuer massacred by the Dinka Gelweng on orders of Salva, do not forgive them to enjoy the flavours of life.
He is on record on several occasions that the Dinka are killed by the Nuer forgetting the fact that the killing of the Dinka where it happened was a reaction by the Nuer who had to avenge for the death of their beloved ones. Informed sources said that he was behind the sacking of Gen James Hoth and Maj.Gen Mac Paul respectively and that he is now advising the President to unify the two security bureaus and appoint only one Director-general who would definitely be the current DG of Internal Security Bureau.This is also a ploy by the same Riek Gai to sideline Maj.Gen Duoth Guet. The other intention of Riek Gai is to make sure that the Lou Nuer land is invaded by the Dinka militias. He was heard one time saying that there would be no peace in this country if the government does not occupy the Lou territory. He mistakenly thought he would win the trust and confidence of Salva when the Lou Nuer land is occupied by the Kiir’s militias. When Salva reached an agreement with Riek Machar on the power sharing matrix, he said it was a betrayal by Kiir for accepting to agree with Riek Machar.His calculation was that if Riek Machar comes back to Juba,he would not find a place in the government.There are rumours that the frequent stalling of the peace talks are his making.
How can Riek Gai, who has failed to manage even his own house, boasts that he is a responsible person who can rule others? He is nowadays confusing the public by whitewashing buildings in the JTH that he is vigorously working. The Public health Lab was built in 1974 and I wondered how the President could accept to be misled by officially opening it with a wide media coverage amid ululations by poor Equatorian nurses and hospital workers. Who would buy such lies from Riek Gai and the like minded?
It is now a public knowledge that Riek Gai is not on speaking terms with the caretaker Governor just because he wants to manipulate Dr Joseph Monytuil on how to run the State, something which has never been heard of. Their area of differences was because Monytuil refused to appoint some disgruntled and naive Unity State boys who are close to Riek Gai feeding him with lies and gossiping. The man is famous for favoring people with little educational backgrounds and who specialized in manufacturing lies and who are indeed sycophants and nincompoops. He has built a personality cult around himself consisting of a coterie of uneducated and semi-literate chaps and idiotic security informers. Riek Gai has no permanent friend because he is unprincipled especially when it is something to do with politics. The President must be careful of this tricky politician otherwise he will find himself in hell. Who would fail to believe that Riek Gai did not win the 2010 general election? He made it to the National Assembly through tricks and maneuvers by the Gadiang group which was headed by Kuol Manyang with the membership of Atem Garang, Malual Mabur, Philip Thon, Professor Lual Achuek Deng, Majak Agot and himself.He is not getting along with any of those mentioned who were in fact his saviors now because it a common knowledge that when the guy is having power, he becomes unfriendly.
His godfather Tellar Ring Takpiny Deng who was a conduit between him and the President has now been posted to Russia on an Ambassadorial job.The author wonders what is his plan B regarding how frequent he would be seeing the President?
When he was appointed to the Ministry of Health, there was a great hope things would go right but to the contrary what he is now doing does not live up to the expectations of the people. A case in point, that is, the appointment of the medical council which is consisting of Dinka and submissive Equatorians and denial of the rights (arrears) of the Hospital staff which led to the strike. It was nothing but an attempt to prove himself more capable than other ministers and for him to shine in the public eye especially to those who do not know him well because the guy is very good at worshipping masters.