Acholi Elders Seek Meeting with Museveni After Owning up to Mistakes

A section of elders in the Acholi Sub-region are seeking to meet President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni over his recent statements acknowledging the mistakes of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) led government in the region.

Early this month, the President while presiding over a crusade organized by the first daughter Patience Rwabwogo asked the Acholi people for forgiveness over mistakes that the NRA/M committed in the region in the past.

Museveni said as NRM, they take full responsibility for all the mistakes that were made at various levels throughout the sub-region region.

“As the top leaders of the movement, we are here to take full responsibility for all the mistakes that were made at all various levels, forgive our failures, and the failures and mistakes of leaders we entrusted with various responsibilities throughout this sub-region,” Museveni told the congregation.

While addressing mourners at the reburial of Brig. Gen Pierino Okoya in Gulu District on Friday, Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo Chigamoi commended the President for owning up to the mistakes made during his regime.

He says the President’s gesture is in sync with the Acholi traditional justice system where the head of a family takes responsibility for mistakes that are committed by children even when they might not have been ordered to commit them.

Justice Owiny-Dollo says against this background, the Acholi leaders have asked him to lead them to the President to have a round table conversation on his remarks about forgiveness and owning up to past mistakes by the NRM government.

According to Justice Owiny-Dollo, the time is ripe now for the country to have an honest conversation with one another and talk about peace building especially in the Acholi Sub-region without any fight that would lead to further devastation.

Justice Owiny-Dollo’s remarks came after some political and cultural leaders in the region lauded the President for taking a leap forward to fostering reconciliation and peace-building between the government and natives of the region.

Pageya Clan Chief Rwot Yusuf Adek noted that while other past presidents notably Apollo Milton Obote, Yusuf Binaisa Lule, Idi Amin, Tito Luwa, and Godfery Lukongwa Binaisa all failed to honor Brig. Okoya with a decent reburial except President Museveni.

Rwot Adek said the region has been yearning for total healing from the heinous crimes committed against people in the region and noted that the President has started the process that will fully heal the region from its dark past.

President Museveni on Friday didn’t make a response to the request by the Acholi elders but said he had taken note of the information shared by Justice Owiny-Dollo.

Commenting on Brig. Okoya’s murder, Museveni said those who committed the assassination haven’t lived to succeed in life arguing that most of them were punished.

Museveni commended Brig. Okoya for his services to the country and described him as a person who had potential in life.

Brig Okoya was on Friday accorded a state reburial with a 11-gun salutes along with his wife Akello at their ancestral home in Bongo-tyet village in Palaro Sub- County, Gulu District, nearly 53 years after their gruesome murder.