Members of Parliament from Northern Uganda have voiced their views regarding the agitation for secession by the Northern region of Uganda to form the Nile Republic if the constitutional age limits for Presidential candidates are repealed.
Earlier this week, Agago North MP and former Leader of Opposition, Prof. Morris Ogenga Latigo hinted on formation of the Nile Republic.
He said that MPs from the North were concerned by the fact that the process of amending the constitution sidelined the people of North who have been marginalised for long.
“Nobody brought us to this country and so if anybody deludes him or herself that they own the country and all of us, then there is something coming,” clearly unhappy Prof. Latigo said.
“After many years of conflict, the only thing that is sustaining us people from the North is fair play. We shall do what it takes to ensure that the interests of our people are addressed.”
A number of MPs from the Northern part of Uganda have since given their views on the issue of secession, many giving it a green light.
Aswa county MP Reagan Okumu commented; “My people have said that we either go federal or we secede from this country. You have sat on us for a long time. We have the human ability and resources to govern ourselves.”
The legislator for Gulu municipality, Lyandro Komakech told plenary that the people of Gulu had said that if the process is not clear, since they are used to sharing districts, secession is an option since they cannot share resources.
On his part, Chwa West MP, Okin Ojara said that in the event that the constitution is amended to repeal the age limits, his constituents would opt for a secession.
“The people of Kitgum are saying “No”. They say if the constitution is amended, they said three things… “Secession, Secession and Secession,” Ojara said.
But Lira municipality MP and President of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Jimmy Akena said that while the talk of secession may hold water, its proponents may not be fronting it in goof faith.
“Secession was real in the 60s. And may be real tomorrow. Are we dealing with this matter in a just and faithful manner?” Akena said.
However, the legislator for Amuria (Teso), Musa Francis Ecweru poured cold water on the idea of a break-away of the North from the rest of Uganda, saying it will be defeated.
“We shall defeat anyone who wants to secede. Nobody can come here and talk about secession. It’s only in the mind of the person who said it,” Ecweru said.
This is not the first time that the issue of forming a Nile Republic has been raised by leaders from Northern Uganda.
In 2013, MPs from Acholi region began a process to collect signatures to support a secession from the rest of Uganda.
Then Kitgum Woman MP, Beatrice Anywar said that much as fragnenting the country was not desirable, Northern Uganda had been marginalised to the extreme.
The MPs said that the northern part of Uganda was ignored even in its recovery from a 20-year long war.