ARUA CITY. A section of top politicians from Ayivu division, Arua city have scoffed at plans muted by a group of people to pressurise the government to reduce the size of the city.

The group is alleged to be silently collecting signatures in various parts of the division with the sole aim of eventually writing a petition to effect the eventual reduction of the size of Ayivu division.

The group of elders, some cultural leaders and a number of former contestants in the new city division have also said the local population of the Ayivu people were not properly consulted.

They also argue that the merging of the seven sub counties to form one division doesn’t conform with the policy of bringing services closer to the people under decentralization.

“The origin of the consultations that led to the creation of Arua city started way back in 2012 and involved political, religious, CSOs and other groups culminating in two meetings at state house with the president and blessings from the council, so no one should waste people's time” said Mr Sam Wadri Nyakua, the current mayor, Arua city

Mr Nyakua who by the time had been district chairman Arua lashed out at the group for spreading falsehoods and instigating fear in the population that the city would grab their land. He challenged the leaders to instead sensitize the population on how best to take care of their land and make the best out of the opportunities that will come out of the city establishment.

Mr Geoffrey Feta, the Ayivu East constituency Member of Parliament also dispelled claims that the current Arua city is too big and thus needs to be reduced for a better and effective management.

“The current Arua city is 401 square kilometres and yet Mbarara is 460square kilometres, Nairobi is three times the size of Arua city, Kinshasa is over 9760 square kilometres, so who tells those people that Arua is too big to be administered?”, Mr Feta charged.

He said the current focus of the populace should be to embrace socio-economic transformation so as to cope up with the needs of the new city setup.

On 17th March 2021, a section of elders from Ayivu met the then deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah at hotel desert Breeze in Arua city to solicit his support for their move to reduce the size of Ayivu division.

Mr Geoffrey FetaL-R, Mr Geoffrey Feta, Mr Malon Avutia and Mr Sam Wadri Nyakua address journalists in Arua City.

The team was led by Mr Manaseh Yumah, the chief of Ayivu accompanied by Ms Suzan Ezatia and John Godo under the coordination of the then MP elect John Lematia of Ayivu West constituency.

However, despite muted rumours, West Nile Web has not independently confirmed support for the reduction of the size of Arua city from Mr Lematia.

The current uproar from the politicians stems from a talk show on one of the local radio stations in which a group of people reportedly led by Mr Faustine Yikita drummed support for the petition.

Yikita lost in the concluded mayoral elections in Ayivu Division but was one of the district councillors during whose time the resolutions to accept the city were passed.

Current division mayor Malon Avutia commenting on the same blasted what he called disgruntled politicians for confusing the population.

“The resolution to accept the city passed through all affected local governments and some of the people confusing the population were part of the council by then, where were they during this time?” asked Mr Avutia.

He acknowledged the challenge of a vast Ayivu division and said the council would soon develop plans to divide the division but quickly asserted that the solution didn’t lie in reducing the size of the city.

Avutia said the new city would provide vast opportunities for employment, and development and warned that any “ill-intended” group that wants to divert the direction of the development would be dealt with by security.