If there is one man in Lira district who is having troublesome days and sleepless nights, then, he’s nobody but Lira Resident District Commissioner [RDC] , Odongo.
RDC Odongo assumed office on 22, October this year, succeeding Robert Abak who was transferred back to Otuke district.
Mr. Odongo, whose enthusiastic support for the infamous age limit law paid off with an appointment, seems to be jumping from frying pan into fire.
On Thursday 23, 11, 2018, during a heated Lira district council session, Odongo became a ‘vital topic’ for Lira district councilors and our impeccable sources say, the councilors who are heavily aggrieved over that they term as “arrogance” of the RDC, were ill-prepared to unleash his flaws on the council floor.
It all started with an executive brief to the council presented by the leader of “government business” whilst Lira district vice chairman, George Okello Ayo who among key issues, exposed how much Lira town is becoming insecure for its urban dwellers following the deteriorating security situation after the alleged killing of 11 year Dickens Okello of Kole district.
Okello Ayo also briefed council of how Indian businesses is suffering as many shops still remain closed due to fear of reprisal from the local community as it is alleged that Dickens Okello was killed by two Asian nationals.
The August House went into thunderous applause when the head of government business, Ayo further unleashed his lethal words and scathingly attacked Milton Odongo for messing up the whole situation that resulted into riots and running battles between residents and security agencies one week ago [last Saturday].
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- “Leaked” postmortem report on murder of 11 year old boy angers Lango
- Family accuses Police, Pathologist as killed son’s postmortem report is rejected
“We are not happy about the way the RDC handled the security situation, as we speak right now, five people are nursing gunshot wounds in Mulago and one is dead. This could not have happened if the situation was carefully handled,” Okello Ayo rants.
Mr. Ayo was not at it alone. Even the council speaker, George Rashid Opio in his address observed that people in the security circles had failed to manage security situations in the district following the death of Dickens Okello that outraged the community.
“You might be the Resident District Commissioner, yes but you owe this council explanations on why things happened they way it did,” Opio charged at RDC Milton Odongo.
Council trashes RDC Odongo’s report
Aware that council was due to sit basing on notifications by the speaker, and Odongo knowing that he was to address council on the state of security affairs in the district especially after the riots that ensued on the day slain Dickens Okello was buried, he gave a brief report and left – leaving his deputy to ‘account for more’.
Armed to teeth with his flamboyant security report, Odongo told the council that there is no cause for alarm because he is surely in charge of the security in the district.
Odongo went ahead to assure the councilors that in him Lira has a very competent RDC who ably managed to contain acts of violence that threatened the lives of Indian nationals and also justified the closure of unity FM and raining bullets and teargas on the locals of Lira town last week.
These explanations sharply angered nearly all the councilors and speaker after speaker expressed disappointment in Milton Odongo who they say should tone down his emotions while handling security matters of the district.
Notably, Antony Ojuka, the Lira sub-county councilor stood on the floor and poured out his heart and blamed the escalating violence squarely on the RDC.
According to Ojuka, aware that the people of Lango were already aggrieved by the alleged killing of Dickens Okello, intimidation and violence was not the best way to contain them and asked Mr. Milton Odongo to respect the people he serves.
“Even if you are appointed by the president, it doesn’t mean you are above the law and everyone; you should be mindful of your actions,” Ojuka told Odongo.
Richard Omara Awio, a councilor representing the people of Railway division was at it again.
Mr. Awio who’s the Lira district NRM party secretary general, faulted Odongo who’s also NRM senior cadre for tainting the image of the National Resistance Movement party.
“When things happen like this and you fail to manage security in the district people begin to blame the party and it because of people like you that the NRM has been losing elections,” Omara warned Odongo against going overboard.
After those verbal attacks and lectures, Mr. Odongo quickly stormed out of the council meeting – leaving his deputy to suffer.
Ogwal Enyema, the Agali sub-county councilor took to the flow and trashed the security report submitted by Milton Odongo calling it not doctored by a mere cosmetic.
Ogwal said it was unacceptable for the RDC to lie in broad day before honorable councilors that Lira district is peaceful when Indians can hardly open their shops and the local people are still wounded emotionally.
RDC Odongo is steadfast
Meanwhile, Mr. Milton Odongo seems not bothered about any one spitting fire on him but just focused on his work following series of meetings within the week with the district officials to discuss issues about the deteriorating security
In one of the meetings, Odongo said he is not moved by wide condemnations and castigation by a section of the community who disagrees with his security modus operandi.
“I am here, I was appointed by president, those who think I am moved are wrong, I cannot be intimidated and I will continue with my work,” Odongo sent this strong signal in a meeting that even had the presence of Alex Oremo Alot, the district chairman.
Roles of Odongo as an RDC.
Article 203 of 1995 Constitution provides for the establishment of the office of the RDC and the roles provided for as:
(i) To monitor implementation of central and local government services in the district, to act as chairperson of the district security committee, to carry out other functions as may be assigned by the President or prescribed by Parliament.