By Christopher Nyeko
Gulu: A section of cultural chiefs under Apire’s faction have strongly condemned the recent act of hooliganism and violence committed against Rwot Richard Santos Apire and his team of Council of Elders from Okidi Village in Atyak sub-county in Amuru district.
On October 26, 2023, the team of the Council of Elders of Ker Kwaro Atyak was in Okidi to mobilize the community, particularly those whose livelihoods have been negatively impacted by the illegal presence of the Balalo herdsmen in their area, to turn up on November 3, 2023, to air their grievances directly to President Yoweri Museveni, who was expected to visit Okidi between November 3 and 15.
However, the team was challenged with heinous acts of violence and hooliganism from local people who claimed that the Rwot Apire wanted to grab their land.
In a video clip that is making the rounds on social media, members who accompanied Rwot Apire were manhandled, and they were blocked from having their community Barraza.
In a press statement released on Tuesday, the cultural chief condemned the act, saying they got provoked upon hearing that the royalties were assaulted by their errant subjects at Okidi.
Rwot John Obita Ogenga, the Rwot of Labongo, who is the interim vice chairperson of Rwodi Acholi under the Apire faction, says “What happened to Rwot Apire and his team was very bad, and we stand in solidarity with Ker Kwaro Atyak and Rwot Apire, who is the Rwot Atyak”. The letter was read in part.
The chief described the incident as “taboo”, According to them, there is no doubt that the youth who were involved in this hooliganism committed an act of taboo by causing grievous bodily harm to Rwot Apire’s personal assistant and threatening violence against Rwot personally.
According to their press statement, the chief believed that the incident was staged to frustrate Rwot Apire and cause his mission to Okidi village to abort.
These heated chiefs have ordered that the perpetrators of the violence against Rwot Apire be summoned before the Council of Elders of Ker Kwaro Atyak under customary law.
Ker Kwaro Atyak has been identified as one of the epicenters of the contentious presence of the Balalo in the Acholi sub-region.
Similarly, on Monday, Odong Stephen Latek, the RDC of Amuru, was also banished from the meeting, which was convinced by the Kilak South Member of Parliament, honorable Gilbert Olanya.
According to Olanya, the meeting was to sensitize the locals, give them courage, and speak frankly before the president, who is anticipated to be in Acholi between October 3 and October 15, to address the issue of Balalo herdsmen in the Acholi subregion.
Olanya, who was filmed, says they chased RDC Latek from their meeting because he was prone to misleading people.
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