A group of elders in the Acholi Sub-region is interested in meeting President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni following his recent admission of mistakes made by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government in the region.
Earlier this month, during a gathering organized by the first daughter, Patience Rwabwogo, President Museveni asked for forgiveness from the Acholi people for errors committed by the NRA/M in the past.
Museveni, as the leader of the NRM, took responsibility for these mistakes at various levels within the sub-region, expressing the need to acknowledge their failures and those of entrusted leaders.
Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo Chigamoi, speaking at the reburial of Brig. Gen Pierino Okoya in Gulu District, praised the President’s willingness to admit past mistakes. He drew a parallel with Acholi traditional justice, where family heads take responsibility for their children’s actions, even if not directly ordered.
Based on this cultural context, Acholi leaders have requested Justice Owiny-Dollo to lead them in a roundtable discussion with the President regarding his statements on forgiveness and accepting past NRM government mistakes.
Justice Owiny-Dollo emphasized the importance of an honest dialogue to promote peace-building, especially in the Acholi Sub-region, without further conflict and devastation.
The Chief Justice’s comments echoed sentiments from some political and cultural leaders who commended the President for taking steps toward reconciliation and peace-building with the region’s residents.
Rwot Yusuf Adek, the Pageya Clan Chief, noted that previous presidents, including Apollo Milton Obote, Yusuf Binaisa Lule, Idi Amin, Tito Luwa, and Godfery Lukongwa Binaisa, failed to give Brig. Okoya a proper reburial, unlike President Museveni.
Adek emphasized the region’s longing for healing from past crimes and acknowledged that the President’s efforts marked the beginning of a process to heal the region’s dark history.
President Museveni did not provide an immediate response to the Acholi elders’ request but indicated he had taken note of Justice Owiny-Dollo’s information.
Regarding Brig. Okoya’s murder, Museveni commented that those responsible for the assassination did not prosper in life, and most faced consequences.
The late Brig. Okoya and his wife Akello received a state reburial with an 11-gun salute at their ancestral home in Bongo-tyet village, Palaro Sub-County, Gulu District, nearly 53 years after their tragic deaths.