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Arua Prepares To Bury Bishop Drandua

Earlier in the day, information had filtered in that the current bishop of Arua, Sabino Odoki, had directed that his predecessor be buried either outside the cathedral, or at St. Kizito Orphanage Centre which he founded. This angered many youths at Ediofe who threatened to go on strike.
Late Bishop Emeritus Fredrick Drandua

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Preparations are underway at Ediofe Cathedral in Arua Municipality for the burial of retired Bishop Frederick Drandua.

 

Drandua, who headed the Arua Catholic Diocese from 1986 until his resignation in 2009, succumbed to cancer of the esophagus yesterday at Nsambya Hospital. He was 73.

 

In West Nile, Bishop Drandua is remembered for his efforts to fight poverty in the region and engaging in peace building and conflict resolution.

 

At the cathedral where he will be buried on September 7, several meetings are already ongoing.

Earlier in the day, information had filtered in that the current bishop of Arua, Sabino Odoki, had directed that his predecessor be buried either outside the cathedral, or at St. Kizito Orphanage Centre which he founded. This angered many youths at Ediofe who threatened to go on strike.

  

An impromptu meeting was organized by the central organising committee and a quick consensus was reached to bury the late bishop inside the cathedral as was the case with Drandua's predecessor, Bishop Angelo Tarantino who died in 1990.

  

Shortly after the meeting, the youths emerged jubilant and mobilised to start the work on the burial site.

  

Ivo Amade, the leader of the Ediofe Youth Group says there had been a lot of tension prior to the decision. He says the youths resolved to block any decision to have the bishop buried outside the cathedral.

Amade however says after the decision, the youths have now taken over digging of the grave. He says they have also resolved to work throughout the night to ensure that work is completed in time.

  

//Cue in: "People were not…

Cue out: …dig the grave."//

  

He says the death of Bishop Drandua is a big loss to the diocese and the West Nile Region.

  

Jane Afekuru, one of the youth members participating in digging the grave says it is such a big loss the diocese will never fill. She says the late bishop gave hope to the youth who had been left hopeless.

  

Born in 1943, Drandua was ordained priest at age 27 on August 9, 1970. He was appointed bishop of Arua on May 27, 1986 and consecrated on August 15 the same year.

 

He steered the diocese for 23 years until his resignation on August 19, 2009.

 

Bishop Drandua first served as a priest as well as the Diocesan Secretary of Arua Diocese after the passing of Italian Bishop Angelo Tarantino in 1984, two years before he was elevated to become bishop of the diocese.

 

He is credited for a string of developments in Arua Diocese including sound income-generating ones like Radio Pacis, Cafeteria and Social Centre. He was also instrumental in many other pro-poor projects, including an attempt to build a hydro-power dam on River Nyagak.

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