Lira—August 11, 2020: The race for Member of Parliament for Lira City West constituency has so far attracted over 10 candidates across different political groups.
The latest entrant is Hon. Dr Benson Obua Ogwal, the former MP for Moroto constituency in Alebtong district where he served for two terms.
On Tuesday morning Lira City woke up to a declaration from Hon. Dr Benson Obua Ogwal on his candidature for Lira City West MP.
“….and the more I pondered over it, the clearer it became that the city has come as a result of answered prayers of many people including me, and now I see every reason why I should offer myself to serve as the first Member of Parliament of Lira City West in the great city of Lira….,” his declaration speech reads in part.
Addressing a press conference Tuesday at his residence in Lira Junior quarters, Hon. Obua Ogwal said after losing the Parliamentary seat of Moroto to Samuel Okwir Odwe in the 2016 elections, he opted to stay out of active and elective politics, but that the last four years has been a period of reflection on his future and his political career “much as my close associates kept asking me about my next political move”.
According to Dr Obua, if he would ever return to elective politics, he courted representation at the East African Legislative Assembly or an urban constituency and the opportunity has come in handy with the creation of Lira City West.
He also told the media that much as he salivated to represent an urban constituency, he had concluded not to run against UPC party President and Lira current Municipality MP, Jimmy James Michael Akena.
“…..I would never run against him no matter what. My secret prayer had also been that our growing municipality would be split like others and that the resulting demarcations would not put me against Hon. Jimmy Akena,” Dr Obua said, adding that he believes the latter has played a big role in Lango and Uganda at large.
Much as he is a tenacious believer in the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party ideology, Dr Obua says he will run as an independent candidate, pledging that this would give him an opportunity to collaborate and work better with any government and President in power.
Dr Obua, who boasts of having lived in Lira when it was still a small town, graduated from Ambalal primary school in 1981. He says Lira as a commercial and an industrial city should be moulded into a city worth its name and respect.
Asked on what he envisage as a challenge to Lira City, Dr Obua told the media that planning should take center stage right from the start. He was quick to add that “this calls for the right leadership of visionary leaders”.
What has Hon. Obua been doing outside politics?
Among his many credentials, Dr. Obua is an expert in peace building, leadership and good governance. As a coach, teacher and mentor of leaders, he has facilitated at the Institute of Parliamentary Studies, which was recently renamed Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga Institute of Parliamentary Studies.
Dr Obua Ogwal is also a faculty member of the Institute for National Transformation (INT) which has branches in over 20 African countries and offers training on value-based. He says INT has a view of transforming third world African countries to first world countries basing on the Singapore model.
He is also a leadership consultant with Solutions Africa and also an internationally certified member of John Maxwell Team and until December last year; he was a support consultant at the Commission of Land Inquiry led by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire.
Nearly two years ago, Zoe Life Theological College awarded him Honorary Doctorate in Humanities for his integrity and contributions to humanity.
Meanwhile, Dr Benson Obua Ogwal has called on residents and church leaders in Lira City to hold special prayer fasts for 40 days and disclosed that as an exemplary leader, he is already on day 3 of his fasting.
“…but the kind of prayers I am advocating for will have to be special for elections and leadership all over Lango, with fasting in a structured manner for 40 days.” he implores, quoting Joel 1:14 and 2 Chronicles 7:14.