Monday, April 14, 2008

Speech Delivered by Col. Ohiyok D. Oduho on the 15th Commemoration of Joseph Oduho's Death

Your Excellencies Brig. Aloysious Emor Ojetuk, Guest of Honour, Uncle Bona Malual, Patron of this occasion, Dr Kamilo Oduwa, the Supervisor of this gathering, Your Excellency Mayom Koch State Minister at the GoNU Ministry of Irrigation, Hon. State MPs, State Council and National Assembly MPs, My fellow Otuho community and its leadership, Otuho-Speaking Association (OSSA) Leadership and membership, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;

On behalf of the late Joseph Oduho's family and on my own behalf, I greet you in the name of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. Please, allow me to extend my sincere greetings and appreciations to you for attendance and to the OSSA for making this day a success.

As a serious students' body, OSSA has been and will remain to be, with the community's support, the pride of the Otuho-Speaking Community. This being the case, OSSA needs to be seriously cautious of the politics in the South. There are politicians who are bent on dividing South Sudanese people on tribal lines. You do not follow them. Instead, exert efforts against division and all its vices.

Division is so useless that it could earn you nothing but hatred which likely develops into conflict. Joseph Oduho whose commemoration we are marking today did fight for the unconditional unity of his people. Oduho's last mission in politics was to reunify fragmented brothers and sisters in the struggle. The fragmentations being referred to were the splits in the SPLM/A in 1984 and 1991. Please browse the Internet and don't be shocked when you see the amount of information you would get. Thus, as young men and women who have recognised his efforts, OSSA needs to follow one of the noble legacies Oduho left behind: serious effort to unite the people of South Sudan unconditionally. Occasions such as this do unite people and as such must be encouraged in order to perform its wonders.

As a family of the late Oduho, we would like to reiterate to you, OSSA members and today's honourable presence that we have missed our father; and have done so for the last 15 years and – God knows – we will continue to miss him forever.

However, there is one thing that encourages us as a family to live on as we remembered our father: his unresolved fight against those regimes in the Sudan that thought they would continue unabated to suppress the Sudanese people, especially those from the Southern part of it.

We are aware that our father was a friend to the late Philip Khabbush; with whom he was detained at one time by Numayri's regime. We are also aware that our father supported and encouraged both Philip Khabbush and Yusuf Kuwa to sustain the struggle of the Nuba people.

We strongly uphold our father's ideals and shall continue to cherish his legacy of unity. Therefore, on behalf of the Oduho family, I assure you who gathered here today that the Oduho family will continue to fight for the unity of the South Sudanese people.

Even though we are aware that our father was killed by fellow comrades in arms, trying to avenge for his death is foolish. It is only a fool who would think that such an action would bring Oduho back to live. An "eye for an eye" theory is unacceptable because it would leave many without eyes, and one could just imagine how disastrous that would become!

The least we, as family members could do, is to ask those who ended his life to remember him and colleagues like Fr. Saturnino Ohure, Ferdinand Adiang, William Deng, Alexis Bakumba, Martin Majier, Benjamin Bol Akok, Akot Atem de mayan, Nashigak Nyashulluk, Samuel Gai Tut, Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, William Nyuon, Peter Kidi, Garang Agwang, Mario Muor-Muor, Joseph Malath, Martin Kajivura, Pierre Ohure Okerruk, Kizito Omilluk Oduho, Philip Khabbush and Yusuf Kuwa whose forces participated in the liberation of South Sudan, and Dr John Garang who delivered all of us home, just to mention but a few of our heroes.

On behalf of the family once again, I appeal to the authorities in the GoSS to transfer the resources necessary for a serious campaign, that has to be instituted by them with the aim of promoting unity of the South Sudanese people, dealing with tribalism and introducing heroes' day in the South to appreciate and commemorate the efforts of those who gave their lives for Southern Sudan.

The Oduho family concludes by earnestly urging OSSA to join hands with the rest of the other students' associations in the South and Sudan as a whole to remember the heroes of this country; those who shed their blood to make the Sudan a country others could emulate.
The peace agreements signed between the government and the Western and Eastern Sudan rebels and between SPLM/A and the Sudan government, especially the Comprehensive Peace Agreement spearheaded by the late Dr John Garang de Mabior, the most unique, I must say, of our contemporary heroes, did offer hopes for a comprehensive Sudanese peace and unity.

Finally, I would like to appeal to all the South Sudanese to forgive each other so that we could concentrate on the development of Southern Sudan.

Thank you very much and May God Bless You all?

Col. Ohiyok David Oduho
Khartoum, April 4th, 2008.

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