ARUA CITY. The prime minister of Lugbara- Kari cultural institution Mr Ismael Tuku has strongly rejected any assertion that the institution has backed the deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya in the battle for full speakership.

The Lugbara premier has also said his ministers who recently met the deputy speaker to ‘wish him success’ did so at their personal capacities and any of their comments must not be attributed to the institutional stance.

“I would like to on behalf of Lugbara-kari state that these sons and daughters of Ayivu went there on private capacity as elders of Ayivu; the spokesperson of the Lugbara-Kari is the prime minister and none of them is the prime minister”, Tuku stated during a press briefing at Arua social centre, in Arua city on Wednesday.

He said the institution is non-partisan and willing to work with anybody who wins political office with clear roles as stipulated in the constitution of Uganda.

He was responding after a series of backlash from the populace on various media reports indicating that the Lugbara Kari institution had thrown its weight behind Mr Oulanya for the speakership.

On 17th March 2021, a section of elders from the Lugbara Kari institution met the deputy speaker at hotel desert Breeze in Arua city and handed him gifts including a spear, bows and arrows and a plaque that contained the writings ‘Rt. Hon speaker Jacob Oulanya, we wish you success’.

The team was led by Mr Manaseh Yumah, the chief of Ayivu accompanied by Ms Suzan Ezatia and John Godo, both ministers in the Lugbara Kari institution.

Oulanya particularly refused to be drawn into the highly competitive race during his visit since it was for official duty but said ‘I am beginning to see that its starting with the elders, the prayer is that the relationship grows across board’.

However, chief Yumah and the involved ministers have bitterly accused the media of bias and misinformation asserting that their sole role of meeting the deputy speaker was to front biting issues affecting the Ayivu people.

“On 17th March, I got a call to come and meet the deputy speaker and what I told him was about the marginalization of the people of Ayivu where seven sub counties have been merged to form a single division. I told him that the merging of the sub counties is not in line with decentralization policies where services are to be brought closer to the people and that the people of Ayivu were not happy”, a displeased Yumah said.

“I was asked to hand him the spear and arrows and later thanked him for sparing time to listen to us and that was all but today, I feel sorry that the whole issue has been twisted and the name of Lugbara Kari soiled, I came to meet the deputy speaker as a son of Ayivu and all those who came with me did the same”, He further emphasized.

Mr John Godo equally agitated about the media reports said they went to present their issues but not to bless the deputy speaker in his speakership race.

“The deputy speaker is a very important person in the country and he is a person for all the people, I went there for a particular reason and to me it was a golden chance which I got through my MP because you know how difficult it is to meet such important persons and pass your issues”, Godo retorted.