The newly elected Acholi Parliamentary Group-APG Chairperson Anthony Akol has called for Unity, amongst group members in order to strengthen their agenda for the people of Acholi sub-region.
Akol, the Kilak North Member of Parliament was elected to lead APG for a two-and-a-half-year tenure on Thursday from Parliament. He collected 11 votes to defeat Omoro District Woman Member of Parliament Catherine Lamwaka who had 10 votes. The two other contenders; Phillip Okin Ojara and Hillary Onek Obaloker stepped down before the polls.
Akol told Uganda Radio Network shortly after being declared the winner that once the leaders unite, it will be easier for him to deliver his promises of steering APG to a greater height.
He says with unity among the leaders comes strength that enables them to accomplish tasks that would seemingly be impossible to accomplish.
Akol plans are to revive the glory of the parliamentary group and make it more transparent in ensuring it achieves its set objectives for people in the region. His plan includes establishing a website for APG, Constituting an APG committee to handle the problems that could be unique to Acholi such as cattle compensation, land matters, loss of lives during insurgencies, oil matters, education, and poverty.
Others, he says are instituting an investment arm of APG where members contribute five million Shillings monthly, establishing a council of elders comprising religious leaders, cultural leaders, MPs, and Local government leader’s representatives and setting up APG secretariat.
Meanwhile, Ricky Anywar, the Agago West County legislator garnered 11 votes for the Vice Chairperson’s position and John Amos Okot was elected Secretary-General. Simon Wokorach went through as APG Deputy Secretary-General, Judith Peace Acan was elected Treasurer, David Lagen Atuka was elected Secretary for Mobilization, Pader Woman MP Paska Aciro Menya is the new Deputy Secretary Mobilization and Gulu Woman MP Sharon Laker Balmoi will be the Parish Development representative.
In the same elections, Lillian Aber took the legal affairs docket, Beatrice Akori was elected to head PRDP/NUSAF/NAADs/, and Aruu County MP Christopher Komakech for health. Tonny Awany Nwoya County MP took the Infrastructure/land/investment docket.
Margaret Lamwaka Odwar, Chua East Member of Parliament took the docket for education, Geoffrey Okello Nwoya East County MP and Gulu city Woman MP Betty Aol Ocan took the budget and Civil Society Organizations sector (CSOs) respectively. APG currently comprises 29 legislators from the eight districts of Acholi.
Acholi Parliamentary Group was formed in 1989 as one of the first regional parliamentary groups formed in the National Resistance Council, an interim parliament created by the National Resistance Movement-NRM government.
Its formation was at a time the region battled the brunt of various insurgencies including one of the longest and most brutal, the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA rebel insurgency led by elusive leader Joseph Kony.