By Ayiga Ondoga
The Archbishop of Gulu, John Baptist Odama has emphasized the need for the promotion of peace, unity, security, love and reconciliation in northern Uganda after the LRA insurgency, if development is to be attained in the region.
He urged the people to go home with the message of peace, unity, love, reconciliation and co-existence among themselves during the day of Pentecost, the Jesus appeared to his disciples after resurrection.
“Let us embrace peace and unity for the good of our country because our motto is ‘For God and My Country’, he said.
“We should learn to celebrate for the good of everybody through preaching peace and unity as Jesus advocated to his disciples.”
He made the remarks during the annual GANAL Eucharistic celebrations which brings together the people of Gulu, Arua, Nebbi and Lira dioceses to pray to God for the return of peace and security in northern Uganda after the 20 years of war.
The prayers, held at Our Lady and St. Jude church, Naguru on Sunday, were attended by bishops; Sabino Ocan Odoki, the main celebrant (Arua), Sanctus Lino Wanok (Nebbi), Joseph Franzelli (Lira), Fredrick Drandua Emeritus (Arua) and Martin Luluga Emeritus (Nebbi).
First deputy Premier and minister of Public Service, Henry Kajura represented Vice President Edward Ssekandi also attended, alongside state ministers, Alex Onzima (Local Government), Jacan Omach (Finance), UPC President Dr. Olara Otunnu and MPs from northern Uganda and West Nile.
First deputy Premier and minister of Public Service, Henry Kajura represented the Vice President, Edward Ssekandi. PHOTO/Ayiga Ondoga
Odama appealed to political, religious and cultural leaders to support each other in order to bring total peace, unity and security in the country.
“We should live as one people in unity, support each other and share our ideas and grievances especially our political, religious and cultural leaders in the region and the country at large for us to attain development.
“Northern Uganda and West Nile had suffered much during the twenty years of insurgency of Joseph Kony’s Lords’ Resistance Army (LRA) and West Nile Bank Front (WNBF) of Juma Oris and others.
“Our people should now enjoy total peace and love each other for the better,” said the churchman.
He stressed that leaders should foster unity, team work and reconciliation in order to promote development.
“Unity, team work and reconciliation are the only ways that can make us succeed in all the development efforts of our churches, mosques and the country. Our God is one, though we go to him in different ways and he knows all about each one of us.”
Ssekandi, in his speech read by Onzima, said: “As political leaders, we should transform the country from the backward status to an industrialized economy by focusing on income generating projects for the people since there is peace, unity and security to change people’s lives.”
Arua Diocese bishop, Sabino Ocan Odoki hands over the GANAL (Gulu Archdiocese) candle to the Archbishop, John Baptist Odama (not in picture) after the prayers. PHOTO/Ayiga Ondoga
The VP contributed sh5n towards the rehabilitation of Ediofe Cathedral in Arua diocese. Over sh25.7m was raised during the celebrations for the same Cathedral.
“Uganda cannot be united without love and therefore, we should contribute in the building of our society and the country. Overcome the divisions in the communities,” said Ssekandi.
On his part, Bishop Sabino Odoki urged people to pray for more unity, peace and security so that the country does not go back to the old days of wars since independence.
He also appealed to people to give decent burials to the dead in order to show love for them.
He urged people to help the less fortunate, especially the children from Karamoja region, who are suffering on the streets in majors towns of Uganda.