By: Ateny Wek Ateny

Death has robbed the Office of Hon. Tut Gatluak Manemi, the Presidential Adviser on National Security Affairs, the family of Mai Chan of Mayom County, Bul-Nuer section, Unity State and the entire South Sudan of a great man. This morning, and to be precise at 8:52 am, I received a call from Joseph Majok Both, one of the Protcol officers, who usually calls me when there is any message from Hon. Tut to me. I picked his call, while worried as to what he might be telling me this morning.

I was afraid to hear any bad news. I knew it wasn’t usual this time. “Mr. Ateny, I am calling to tell you that your brother Tut has lost one of his relative” he said. Which one of his relatives, then my heartbeats increased. I did not want to hear the news this time, if the person he is going to tell me was dead was going to be amongst the relatives of Hon. Tut that I know. “We lost Amb. Peter Michael Mai Chan”. Majok told me on phone. What? Are you sure you want to tell that he is dead? Majok politely replied me yes Sir, but take it easy .

It wasn’t easy, and so I didn’t take easy. I was shocked and began developing high fever and so, I thought to first take my high blood pressure medication. I controlled my pressure eventually. Nevertheless, the death of the late Peter Michael Mai is so untimely, agonizing to many, and it was exceedingly traumatizing. Without being sick, he was on a trip to Eastern Equatoria few days ago, and came back yesterday to complain of chest pain. His direct Boss, Mr. Talib Peter Unago gave him permission to go and rest. But, he must first seek medical view about what is painful in his chest. Instead he went home to rest. In the morning the pain persisted and so, he had to be rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, he died before 8:00 am in the morning. I am not sure of the cause, but his death seems to be of heart attack – given the symptoms explained earlier.

In fact, South Sudan has lost a man. Peter Michael Mai was a true diplomat. He was accredited as protocol officer in the office of Hon. Tut Gatluak Manemi, the Presidential Advisor on National Security Affairs, – one of the most demanding office in the land, after the actual office of the President. Given Advisor Tut’s humane treatment of South Sudanese, his office became like the department of social welfare. However, the Office of the Advisor Tut is the most visited office in the land. In spite of the work demand of that office, Peter Michael was the darling of everyone. He is a man who always smile and tells any visitor to Hon. Tuts office, that Zol Kabir is in the the meeting. And he can do this repeatedly without getting being crossed. With smile in his face, Peter is always right when he tells you that Cde. Tut is busy. He (the late Peter) knew no lies and he was always resilient , steadfast and trustworthy.

Peter Michael as he will unfortunately be referred to as “late” has left a gap to never be filled by anyone. He was a loss for his immediate family, but mostly to those who would still be converging into Tut’s office for whatever reason. While he (the late Peter) was loved in as much as Hon. Tut is also loved, the convergence into Medan Jamus in Munuki to pay respect to his family, is a testimony of how great men/women are mourned. This is the time, when good deeds you do while alive are paid by all.

Peter Michael Mai Chan was married to one of our daughters from NBGS – to be precise, the daughter of the late Hon. Baak Bol Baak (Baak-Abu-Ajaj) called Awien and had two daughters with. Also he was survived by other two wives; one from Moru and another from Eastern Equatoria with number of children.

Peter Michael will be missed and his gap will remain wide and long. My condolences message on behalf of the family of Atenydior countrywide, and on my own behalf to Hon. Tut Gatluak Manemi, to his wives, children his brothers and sisters, the entire Bul-Nuer community, Unity State and the countrywide. The life of Peter has touched all, small and big, politicians, clergymen/women to say the least. May his precious soul rest in eternal peace with almighty God.