Khartoum, Asharq Al-Awsat- From East Sudan, Dr Hassan Abdullah al-Turabi, the head of the opposition Popular Congress Party [PCP], has launched a vicious attack on the Government of his arch adversary, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. “It has provided a bad example of Islam,” he said, renewing accusations that it was corrupt. “Corruption is now being practiced in broad daylight, “he said.
He described the tribal bi’a [traditional Islamic swearing of allegiance to a chosen ruler] given to al-Bashir as “blatant tampering with religion, adding that “bi’a is for Allah alone”. He also warned against what he described as “growing governmental influence on the judiciary”.
Al-Turabi, who is spending four days in Eastern Sudan, said to a packed rally in the town of Sinkat: The Government is packed with corruption and corruptors. There is a lack of supervision and transparency. He said Sudan topped the list of corruption in the world and that the national revenues are spent on erecting meaningless buildings. In warning about the dangers of corruption, al-Turabi said that the Government was now wading in corruption “like a goat in a pile of bread”. He said that some corrupt establishments have become the private property of influential members of Government who use them to further their own interests. Jobs have become a monopoly for the relatives of officials and their in-laws, he added. Al-Turabi said the Government is providing a bad example of Islam which has turned into mere slogans.
He said the Government was a domineering one “and those in charge have done unspeakable things to us and halted the practice of religious rites”.
The PCP leader criticized the legislative councils in both the provinces and in the center. He said they did not carryout any supervisory role on the spending of public funds and that they got their decisions dictated on them from the President because he is the one who nominated them. Al-Turabi demanded the establishment of system of shura [consultation with the people] and ensuring justice and liberty for all political parties and citizens, as well as implementing decentralized rule and desisting from confiscating newspapers and detention journalists. He called for electing the provincial governors and for ensuring social justice. He demanded again disclosures about where petroleum money is spent, stressing that the principle of accountability should be applied in this connection.
On financing petroleum exploration activities, al-Turabi said that the Islamic Movement [when he was in power] did not spend on it from the budget and that the financer was a Canadian of Pakistani origin, in addition to Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister who he said was a fellow-student of his by the name of Anwar Ibrahim. He disclosed that not a single cent was spent from the Public Treasury on military industries [production of weapons and munitions] in Sudan and that it was established through “the efforts of men from abroad”. Al-Turabi accused the Government of neglecting the Sudanese countryside. He ridiculed development in the Red Sea Governorate which is represented in macadamizing and lighting roads. He said the real development was the development of the people in the health, education, and potable water domains. He took the opportunity to criticize the agreement signed by East Sudan militants with the Government, which he described as fragile and as representing a deal between the Eritrean and Sudanese Governments.
He described the participation by senior presidential assistant Mani Arkoi Minawi the head of the Sudan Liberation Movement who has signed the Abuja Peace Agreement, and of presidential assistant Musa Muhammad Musa, who signed the East Agreement, as “decorum” participation. “They do not see the President who does not consult with them about taking decisions,” al-Turabi said. He criticized the policy of tax collection and the continued application on the citizens of the so-called wounded stamp, asking “why such a stamp when peace has been achieved?”
Al-Turabi said Sudan was more vulnerable to division than at any time in the past. He said that talk has now started in Darfur about secession. He said that the conclusions of the committee of experts on settling the dispute over the oil-rich Abyei region between al-Bashir and his First Vice-President Salva Kiir has become a binding verdict. Al-Turabi said that his party advocates freedom, decentralization and shura governance. He expressed his party’s willingness to unite with parties established on the basis of religion if they return to the principles of religion. According to al-Turabi, the Islamic tide now prevails all over the world and leftist ideologies have collapsed in the Islamic countries.