In recent past weeks, I have watched a cyber-war on social media over the death of the Speaker of Parliament Hon. Jacob Oulanya.
Oulanya who was pronounced dead by the President on March 20th 2022 was flown to Seattle Washington for specialized treatment.
However, while he was there receiving treatment, a group of National Unity Platform (NUP) diaspora supporters staged a protest against his treatment accusing him of being part of a government that has failed to provide health care to Ugandans.
They forget that their leader Robert Kyagulanyi was in the 10th parliament for 5 years earning tax payer’s money but he never brought a single member’s bill on the flow of parliament that would see health sector improved through more funding.
According to their protest, they wanted him to be flown back to Ugandan claiming that he was wasting taxpayers’ money.
The NUP spokesperson Joel Senyonyi responded to the protests saying that as a party, they have no control over how its supporters express their views.
This according to me does not make any sense for a full party aspiring to lead a whole county to lack a sense of organization, how then do you intend to lead a country of 45 million people when you can’t have control of just a few elements of your party?
This act of immaturity only exposes the hypocrisy of the party, one moment they claim its taxpayer’s money and after the death of the speaker, the NUP president acts as though he is sorry and mourns with the late’s family.
It beats my understanding that the same people that protested against Oulanya’s treatment are the same people acting as if they are sad about his death.
Oulanyah is not the first Ugandan to travel abroad for specialized treatment, many Ugandans fly out monthly for treatment I didn’t just see any justification as to why one would celebrate the illness of others knowing willfully that sickness can fall on anybody.
To protest against the speaker’s treatments only exposes the kiwani party that NUP has always been.
However, according to NUP mouthpiece, The party claimed that the protest was not against Oulanya but against the health situation in Uganda.
If so, these protests should have been done here in Uganda considering the fact that Oulanya himself did not authorize his treatment abroad but it was the President.
It’s okay to protest, I don’t dispute the fact that people should protest against a service demeaning to them but the one of Seattle wasn’t called for, it’s only a man with no conscience that can do that.
As a country, this is not the time to politicize the death of Oulanya but to accord him respect and a befitting send of. We as a county should be celebrating his life and not apportioning blames.
Some Concerns coming in from Acholi is on the death fact that Gov’t officials while young such as Gen.Oketa Julius, Col.Ochora Walter, Gen.Paul Lokech, and now Speaker Oulanyah Jacob they claim these individuals’ loyalty to the regime is not an issue. Yet in our societies death has to be explained beyond modern science.
I beg to disagree with this group; People die all over the country and everywhere. We recently lost Mutebile, Gen Pecos Kutesa, Gen.Kasirye Gwanga, Fr Lokodo, and those regions didn’t complain
I want to appreciate the Northern Uganda Diocese Bishop Rev. Godfrey Loum who said whereas Oulanyah’s death is painful; it was too early to question and point fingers at who could have caused his death.
Rev. Loum says people should instead unite and mourn him peacefully.
The Bishop reveals that when a person dies in Acholi and his/her cause of death is unclear, he/she is first accorded a decent burial before people start to question the cause of his/her death.
My appeal therefore to the people of Acholi and Uganda at large is to take heart, people die.
Some individuals like MUNIN. K. MULERA wrote on his Twitter page claiming the President and other politicians will take advantage of the occasion to enhance their political stocks. He added that those eyeing the speaker’s chair will position themselves as worthy successors. Then we shall quickly resume business as though we have not just lost a brother whose disease ought to have been managed in Uganda.
While some leaders and some politicians will take advantage of this situation, it’s wrong to say that some eyes will find themselves worthy, but yes, in this circumstance the speaker has to be elected as per the constitution.
The Retired Bishop of Kitgum Diocese, McLeod Baker Ochola said that the demands by the Acholi leaders are being driven by selfish motives because Oulanyah was gifted as an individual, and replacing him with an Acholi leader might not necessarily mean that the successor will perform like Oulanya.
I agree with the bishop surely because any position given to Acholi or any other tribe is given on merit and in accordance with Uganda’s law not how we want. Saying a position was held by your child and should therefore be filled by your other children isn’t right.
Acholi should know that Oulanya was a gifted man from an intelligent family So, a person’s ability is their own. It can’t be inherited. If another Acholi is made to replace Oulanyah, he/she will not take Oulanyah’s brainpower to make them excel in that position.”
I have also heard some people claiming that the speaker was poisoned, on this matter; I think that it would be best to wait for the official statement from the hospital other than wallow in speculations.
There is as well steam of a tribal war that has steamed up as a result of the speaker’s death and protests from the NUP party, but in my opinion, in order for peace to prevail, we should not see and identify ourselves solely as members of the tribe buts as a nation of one people working towards a common purpose.
To my fellow Acholi people, I understand the pain of losing a loved one, but it’s usually what happens everywhere, I stand with you and ask you, especially the youth of this land to stay calm and accord Oulanya the respect he deserves.
I call leaders from Acholi land both political and religious leaders to preach peace at this trying moment, knowing that Oulanya was not only relevant to the Acholi people but to Uganda as a whole.
As a country, we lost an icon.