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Joint council meeting resolves to rename cancer centre after Oulanyah

Former Speaker Jacob Oulanyah will be laid to rest today in Omoro district.

Omoro, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Local government councils in Northern Uganda have resolved to rename the Northern regional cancer treatment centre in Gulu after the former speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah.

The resolution is one of the several other proposals adopted for implementation during the extraordinary council meeting held in honour of Oulanyah in Omoro district on Thursday.

The council meeting was held jointly by district and city local government councils from Acholi, Lango and West Nile sub-region.

Peter Douglas Okello, Omoro LCV chairperson proposed a motion seeking to have the facility that is still under construction be renamed Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah cancer center.

Construction of the centre that sits on four and a half acres of land in Koro Kal was launched in August last year and will cost the government 34.4 billion shillings. It’s expected to decentralize the treatment of cancer patients from the region that flock to the National Cancer Institute at Mulago.

Okello also moved a motion to have the government tarmac the Gulu-Moroto road to enhance connectivity and access to social services, renaming one major road in the three cities of Arua, Gulu, and Lira and districts and municipalities.

Other motions include a portrait of late Oulanyah to be placed in the respective council halls, administrative units, NRM party offices, and organizing an annual memorial lecture.

The motion was seconded unanimously by city and district councils members.

Eric Ojara, the LCV councilor for Avuga sub-county in Omoro district says renaming the facility in memory of Oulanyah will expedite the construction of the centre.

Oulanyah 56, died on March 20 in Seattle in the United States of America. The Health Minister Dr Ruth Jane Aceng on Tuesday revealed that Oulanyah succumbed to cancer which he had been battling for a long time.

Several councillors, LCV chairpersons, and city mayors eulogized Oulanyah and described him as a leader who set a goal of unity.

Caroline Adong, the woman councilor for People with Disability in Gulu city says Oulanyah was a peacemaker. She however moved a motion that the next joint council meeting should involve the local government councils from Karamoja as a way of forging peaceful co-existence between the Acholi and Karimojong following years of tension over cattle rustling.

Sam Atul, Lira City Mayor proposed that the scholarship fund being set up by leaders in the Acholi sub region in memory of Oulanyah be made a provident fund and be funded by the government to support the education of children in the region.

Geoffrey Oceng, Amolatar LCV chairperson noted that there is a need for the government to consider declaring March 20, annually as a public holiday in remembrance of Oulanyah’s contribution to the country.

Other recommendations by the joint council meeting include the launching of mass tree planting in the three sub-regions of Acholi, Lango, and West Nile to fight deforestation, upgrading of Lalogi health center IV into a district hospital in Omoro district and construction of Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah memorial football stadium in Omoro.

Oulanyah’s body will be laid to rest on Friday at his ancestral home in Ayom Lony village, Jaka Parish in Lalogi sub-county.

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