The Acholi Parliamentary Group (APG) has thrown its weight behind the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah as he seeks to unseat his boss Rebecca Kadaga. Oulanyah has already declared his intention to challenge Kadaga who is seeking her third term as speaker of parliament.
Now, the Acholi Parliamentary Group which comprises about 20 legislators has declared its support for Oulanyah who belongs to the group.
Addressing journalists at Churchill Courts Hotel in Gulu city on Saturday afternoon, the Acholi Parliamentary Group chairperson P.P Okin Ojara said they held meetings with the newly elected MPs from Acholi, cultural, religious and community leaders to consult on Oulanyah’s candidature.
He explains that they resolved to endorse Oulanyah because of his competence, humility, honesty, objectivity, brotherhood and capability to steer the eleventh parliament. Ojara was flanked by fourteen out of the eighteen newly elected legislators from the region. He argues that this is the best time for Oulanyah to steer the August house since he had stepped down for Kadaga in the previous election.
Judith Peace Acan, the Nwoya district Woman MP-elect who pledged to support Oulanyah said their decision is not based on ethnic consideration but rather Oulanyah’s capability.
Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Bardege-Layibi Gulu city division MP-elect says the decision was made from the perspective of the group which is the bigger body that unites Acholi MPs. He says that it is unrealistic to deny Oulanyah a chance to be elected Speaker of the eleventh parliament on grounds that he is from Northern Uganda which already has the Chief Justice.
Simon Peter Wokorach, the Aswa County MP-elect on the other hand noted that he has known Oulanyah as a down to earth man, something that makes him fit for the speaker. He says that Oulanyah has for long been on the waiting list and relinquished his position for others including becoming the speaker of the tenth parliament and chairperson of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
Reverend Father Charles Onen, the Pece-Laroo Gulu City Division MP elect rallied other Members of Parliament to give their support to Oulanyah for speaker. Laker Sharon Balmoi, the Gulu district Woman MP-elect noted that it is her prayer that the will of God sees Oulanyah through for the speaker.
Ricky Anywar Richard, the Agago West County MP elect said that it is the pride of Acholi and Ugandans to see Oulanyah go through and chair the eleventh parliament as the speaker. The other legislators who have openly pledged their support to Oulanyah are Paska Aciro Menya, the Pader Woman MP elect and David Lagen, the Agago County MP.