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Don’t speculate Oulanyah’s cause of death: Acholi clerics

Jacob Oulanyah

Omoro, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Clerics from Acholi sub-region have called on the public and family members of the former Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah, to remain calm and desist from speculating the cause of his death.

Oulanyah, 56 was pronounced dead by President Museveni in a tweet on Sunday afternoon.

The former Omoro County MP had been hospitalized in Seattle in the United States of America where he was referred for specialized medical treatment on February 3.

His death however drew mixed reactions from both his parents, relatives and a section of citizens and leaders from the Acholi sub-region.

While addressing mourners on Sunday from his home in Ayom Lony village in Lalogi sub-county, Omoro district, Oulanyah’s father Nathan L’Okori claimed his son didn’t die of a natural cause but was killed.

“We all know that Jacob was killed. So from today onwards if anyone wants to speak, they should not make a statement about Oulanyah’s death when they know it,” he told mourners.

Lokori says he is only waiting for an official report about the death of his son from President Museveni.

The Northern Uganda Diocese Bishop Rev. Godfrey Loum, however, says whereas Oulanyah’s death is painful, it was too early to question and point fingers at who could have caused his death.

Rev. Loum says people should instead unite and mourn him peacefully.

The Bishop reveals that when a person dies in Acholi and his/her cause of death is unclear, he/she is first accorded a decent burial before people start to question the cause of his/her death.

“My appeal to the people of Acholi and Uganda at large is, please take heart, people die. If there is any information in regards to the death, the person can come up with it at an appropriate time,” said Rev. Loum.

He described Oulanyah as a loving and God-fearing person and appealed to the general public to support the family and friends of the deceased to give him a decent burial instead of engaging in accusations.

The former Kitgum Diocese Bishop Rt. Rev. Macleod Baker Ochola equally says the public including the family members of Oulanyah should be calm and wait for authentic reports from medics on the cause of their son’s death.

Bishop Ochola eulogized Oulanyah and described him as a very gentle, kind, and intelligent man when he was still alive.

Omoro LCV chairperson Douglas Peter Okello says that the region has lost an icon of unity and development.

There is a beehive of activity at the home of the late Oulanyah where relatives and volunteers in Ayom Lony village are making necessary preparations ahead of the burial.

A number of youth volunteers were slashing down tree branches, clearing nearby bushes, and cleaning the compound where mourners are expected to gather for the send-off of Oulanyah.

Since Sunday when Oulanyah’s death was announced by President Museveni, mourners have been thronging his ancestral home to condole with his parents and relatives.

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