Lango Web

The Cultural Site of Lango, Northern Uganda

Lango Conference: Opening speech by the Chairman of Lango Association, Alex Okullo

 

In this opening speech Alex Okullo:

 

·           Asked the Conference to hold a one minute silence in remembrance of the late David Ebong former chairman of Lango Association who passed away a year ago.

 

·           Welcomed all delegates and invited guests to the first ever Lango Conference hailing it as a first step in the right direction. Also welcomed Won Nyaci Rwot Yossam Odur, Ministers Amama Mbabazi, Daniel Omara Atubo, David Wakikona and other invited guests.

 

·           He said the main aim of the conference was to encourage love and unity among the Langi all over the world

 

·           The other aim of the conference was to engage the government of Uganda and the international community on the urgent need to bring about development to Lango sub-region

 

·           He explained the need to have government representatives at the conference in order for the Langi to bring to their attention the plight of the Langi

 

·           He urged the invited guests and delegates to stick to the theme of the conference “reconstruction of Lango Sub region after 20 years of conflict” and avoid partisan politics.

 

·           Urged the conference to come up with short and long term achievable goals

 

·           Spoke about the state of education in Lango today stressing that Lango is now least in education. Most schools have collapsed with no laboratories, no libraries, no dedicated teachers, etc. Such schools can no longer send children to national universities like before.

 

·           On health he said today we have hospitals which are bare old structures, most of which were built in the 60’s, they have no medical equipment, no drugs and no dedicated medical staff to man them.  The sick and wounded lie on bare hospital floors and verandas un attended.

 

·           He quoted recent figures from the Ugandan National Bureau of statistics, saying Lango is now ranked as the 6th poorest and least developed sub-region in the whole of Uganda.

 

·           He traced the beginning of our underdevelopment to early 1987 when our sub-region was massively invaded by the so called cattle rustlers, and all our cattle were looted indiscriminately. He said cattle formed the backbone of the Lango economy and we have never recovered from this period

 

·           The persistent armed conflict starting from Lakwena and Alice Lakwena and quickly followed by the LRA insurgency. The peak of the LRA insurgency saw deaths, mutilations, torture, rape and abductions of civilians and a number of mass massacres leading to people being taken to IDP camps.

 

·           The effects on people living in IDP camps were immense collapse of morality, education collapsed, a high increase in HIV/Aids infections. The infected people have moved back to villages without treatment.

 

·           Thanked both LRA and UPDF for agreeing a cease fire and urged for an urgent signing of a permanent peace accord based on forgiveness, trust and transparency.

 

·           Paid special thanks to the international NGOs who provided humanitarian assistance during the conflict. Paid special thanks to World Food Programme, Save the Children, UNICEF, World Emergency Relief, Medicine san frontier, and many others.

 

·           He said the conflict was wrongly seen and understood by the international community as a problem affecting only Acholi sub-region, and this often led to Lango sub-region being neglected whenever it came to providing humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance.

 

·           He urged the government and the NGO’s to consider Lango as an equal partner and to provide Lango with a full recovery package without any bias.

 

·           Urged the government to provide more investments in Lango to encourage the recovery process.

 

·           Appealed to the Langi to adopt the motto of Acan Akwo Kwoo i lwete and start contributing positively to the development of Lango without expecting outside intervention.

 

·           Called upon each Lango to ask the cardinal question “what can I do for Lango .. and not what can Lango do for me”

 

·           He likened the Langi to the Jews because they are hardworking, resilient, courageous and creative and above all because they are not easy to manipulate.

 

·           He urged the Langi to start to mobilize resources - men and materials - to further the cause of Lango. He asked the conference and other subsequent meetings to come up with strategies to raise funds to support any projects that we identify as necessary.

 

·            He said the Langi have enough brains and experience to develop Lango. All they need is the will power to succeed!

 

·           The future of the generation of the Langi yet unborn is put at risk if we failed today to chart our destiny in order to achieve a realizable collective goal

 

·           He urged the district leaders to provide a sense of direction on the ground by fighting corruption and restoring public confidence in their services.

 

·           He concluded by stressing the fact that, we must not and we can not wait another 5,6,7 months before we start to do something for our people. We have already waited 20 years and we can not afford to waist any more time. We must act now.

 

 

Recommendations from Alex Okullo’s speech

 

a)         Both LRA and government of Uganda to sign a comprehensive peace accord leading to lasting peace in northern Uganda based on transparency, forgiveness and reconciliation

 

b)         Lango urgently needs an anti corruption committee in all the districts of the sub-region to look into all the projects fundeded by the government and the NGOs to establish their levels of success. Any persons found to be misappropriating such funds should be brought to account before the courts of law.

 

c)         Representatives of Lango Association will from time to time visit Lango sub-region to ascertain for themselves the development projects going on the sub-region and to make recommendations and

 

d)         The conference to adopt short and long term achievable goals for development of Lango sub-region

 

e)         At least the 3 main secondary schools ie Comboni College, Lango College and Dr Obote College Boroboro be rehabilitated. The science laboratories and libraries of the said schools be equipped to enable students attain good standards of education.

 

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