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