Forum for Democratic Change Vice President Hon. Reagan Okumu says it is time for northern Uganda and West Nile to break away from Uganda since the president is bent on raping the constitution.
“My people have said that we either go federal or we secede from this country. You have sat on us for a long time,” Okumu told plenary on Tuesday.
“We have the human ability to govern ourselves. The destiny of this country will be decided by the people of Uganda,” said the Aswa county MP and commissioner of Parliament of Uganda.
Okumu associated himself with the Minority Report which rejects bother the age limit bill and the 7 year-term for the president.
“You cannot amend the constitution before we have tested it. We cannot amend the constitution perennially in favour of one person,” he said.
According to Hon Okumu, the debate may take any direction. “But Uganda will either take Federal governance, or we secede. We have our voting patterns and we shall decide.”
He added: “I know you have the numbers. You have sat on us, we have the human resources to secede.”
Hon. Jimmy Akena, a son to former president Dr Milton Obote, said people have dismissed this issue of secession.
According to Akena, it was on in 1963, it can happen again tomorrow.
“Is this for the interests of the people of Uganda or we are sending Uganda to a path we don’t know. Which Ugandans did you consult that said touch it?”
He read to the members an extract of the parliamentary prayer, explain that the first amendment to the constitution was in 1963 to remove the governor General.
“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 only 16 people of those he consulted on constitutional amendments said “touch it”.
“Which Ugandans did you consult to tell you to touch it overwhelmingly?” he asked the ruling party NRM MPs who are eager to make Museveni a life president.
This amendment can still lead to bloodshed next year or this year, Akena warned, adding, “If you think you have the numbers here, we have numbers outside there.”
Hon. Lyandro Komakech said he had only 6 citizens in Gulu municipality saying “touch it”.
“I would like to add that Uganda is a product of historical accidents. If the bus is going to be driven nonstop, the position in northern Uganda is very clear.”
Hon Komakech told plenary that the people of Gulu said that if the process is not clear, since they are used to sharing districts, secession is liable since they cannot share resources.
Hon Okin P. P. Ojara asked the Chairperson to give the house evidence of consultations with the police and the army who are the background of security and stability in the country.
“The people of Kitgum are saying “No”. They say if the constitution is a mended, they said three things… “Secession, Secession and Secession!” Okin said.
Minister Ecweru threatens to defeat them
But Musa Francis Ecweru, State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, dismissed Okumu’s claims for secession saying Uganda will never break up but remain/stand together.
“We shall defeat anyone who wants to secede,” the minister threatened.
He said the people of Amuria have sent him to support the amendment.
“In Amuria age is synonymous with wisdom. The people of Amuria told me that even after the amendment is done with, we will still remain Ugandans.”
He went on: “Nobody can come here and talk about secession. It’s only in the mind of the person who said it.”
Hon Ecweru told Okumu that he cannot use his platform to intimidate them.
“Nobody can intimidate us. I have defeated those who wanted to secede before.”
On Monday, Agago North MP Prof. Morris Ogenga Latigo, said the Northern region would be seceding from Uganda.
He said the debate had “reflected a total ban on the Parliament Rules of Procedure with the major interest of only passing the bill.”
“We people who come from the North after many years of conflict, the only thing that is sustaining us is fair play; that everybody is to account according to the rules that are established,” Latigo said.
He said after elections, it was said that everything was fine, except the people from the North.
Together with Democratic Party President Hon. Norbert Mao, Latigo went on radio stations and promised to secede from the NRM government for abrogating the constitution.
Northerners in the past led by Hon Beatrice Anywar attempted to break away and form the “Nile Republic”.