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Bishop Onono Onweng Resigns As ARLPI Chairman

In a leaked November 3rd, 2021 letter addressed to the vice-chairperson, the Most Rev. Dr. John Baptist Odama, Onweng indicates that he will step down as the Chairman ARLPI effective November 30, 2021.
22 Nov 2021 08:44
Copy of Bishop Emeritus Nelson Onono Onweng's resignation letter that URN got.
The Bishop Emeritus of Northern Uganda Diocese, Nelson Onono Onweng has resigned his position as chairman of the Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative – ARLI. In a leaked November 3rd, 2021 letter addressed to the vice-chairperson, the Most Rev. Dr. John Baptist Odama, Onweng indicates that he will step down as the Chairman ARLPI effective November 30, 2021.

“On my own and honor, I conscientiously decided to resign after 24 years of holding various positions as Chairman Governing Council, Chairman Finance and Administration and Founder. Since you are my vice, it is proper to write to you as a process of taking over from me until elections take place,” Onweng’s letter read in part.

Adding that “I love ARLPI and I am proud to be identified with. Therefore, I draw your attention to the dark cloud hanging over ARLPI because of the composition of the school founding body between the Catholic and Church of Uganda, lack of organizational capacity building, the narrow base of partners, and lack of vision to develop a sustainability program.”  

He explains that “Note, the future is always under construction and can stand the test of time if the builders are experts and are suing quality standard materials, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.” He concluded.  On November 6th, 2021, the ARLPI Governing Council convened a meeting at their offices in Koro Pida, along Gulu-Kampala highway, and elected Archbishop Dr. John Bosco Odama to steer the organization on an interim basis until May 2022 when elections will be held.

A source who preferred anonymity disclosed to URN that the very reasons Bishop Onweng raised were supposed to be his responsibility to tackle and resolve other than resigning cowardly. “His resignation just showed an act of negligence towards his noble role for the organization he served for over two decades,” the source said.

“He decided to resign because of conflict of interest and after foreseeing a strained relationship with Rev. Geoffrey Loum, the Bishop-elect of Northern Uganda Diocese. He (Onweng) opposed the appointment of Rev Loum because he was supporting his biological son for the same position, the source said.

URN couldn’t independently verify these claims. When contacted, Sheikh Musa Khelil, the Acholi Khadi who deputized Bishop Onweng declined to discuss the matter. “I can’t comment much on the matter but Bishop Onweng exercised his right to resign,” Khelil told URN. 

Formed in 1997, ARLPI was inaugurated in February 1998 to provide a proactive response to the two-decade-long armed rebellion in northern Uganda. It brings together clerics from the Anglican, Catholic, Muslim, Orthodox, Seventh Day Adventist, and Born-Again Faith Federation churches.

Inspired by their faith, the clerics decided to unite for a common cause of wooing their followers out of the violent conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army – LRA rebels and the Government in the region.