“My fellow leaders, the leaders who make the most influence in society, are those who are closest to the people. This is my call for us all; let’s come closer to the people and work with them to solve the most pressing problems of our time and generation,” he says.
Lira—10, February 2021: The 2021 general elections have ended according to the electoral commission (EC) calendar. From president to MPs and sub-county councillors, the constitutional mandate was on eligible voters to elect leaders of their choice.
In Lango sub-region, some incumbents were voted out from MPs to LC5 chairpersons: Lira City mayor, division city mayors, are all new people who will succeed from acting City mayor and division city mayors, respectively.
This voting pattern also affected some sub-county LC3 chairpersons and their councillors.
During campaigns and few days to the polling day, ‘many Lango elders, the business community and those in the diaspora’ and the wananchi asked those who would be elected to put Lango agenda first; be accountable and available to those who elected them.
In his message to elected leaders across the sub-region dated 5, February 2021 under the title ‘Statement on the leadership transition in Lango and partnership for an inclusive and sustainably developed Lira City and Lango,’ Mr Morris Chris Ongom who is the President Lira City Development Forum (LCDF) said: “While I join the rest of citizens in congratulating you all who were recently elected across this land, I am aware that those votes secured must translate to tangible development outcomes for our people.”
Now that you are elected, he said, you must remember you were offered the mandate on account of your endowment with problem-solving abilities and skills. Leadership is nothing about titles, prestige, division, self-centeredness but a huge responsibility for which God is also involved.
“As said by some leadership scholars, leadership that transforms society is one where leadership is perceived and acted on by getting people to do what they do not want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve. When leadership is defined not as a position or title you hold but as a way of being, you discover that you can lead from wherever you are,” Mr Ongom, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, GLOFORD, added.
“My fellow leaders; the leaders who make the most influence in society; are those who are closest to the people. This is my call for us all; let’s come closer to the people and work with them to solve the most pressing problems of our time and generation,” he says.
It’s now imperative more than ever that our people are mobilized, organized, capacitated and linked to driving their own development. I, therefore, wish to advise as follows:
- Create the Lango Leadership forum that brings together the Political, Cultural, religious, CSO, private sector, diaspora leaders, Lango communities outside the region to periodically meet, report, review, strategize and generate plans of actions to be implemented at the community, Lower local governments, and higher local governments while lobbying financial and technical resources from the central government and development partners. There must be all efforts to ensure that Unity for development is forged and politics against development is minimized or eliminated.
- The outgoing leaders must start to meet and interact with incoming leaders. We must not allow a vacuum because of bad politics. Leadership is like a stage; you come on and play your role and leave. How you leave is still leadership. This is because the transition is coming in May 2021, yet by June the financial year will end meaning that the current planning and budgetary processes are critical for the new team because they will be the implementers. Technical staff at all levels must start to brief new leaders ahead of transition in May for us to safeguard our governance institutions.
- New leaders must ensure they don’t ignore their predecessors, elders, and any other technical advice that will be key in running their governments. If you think I am lying, create that bad culture and soon you will be in the same state. You will fail and unfortunately; we shall have equally failed.
- Lango DLGs must work with Lira City to ensure that the City’s development priorities are supported and fast-tracked. We must rally Lango here and abroad to champion the development of Lira City. Soon, we shall be briefing you on major milestones, including areas for us to be working on together.
- Let’s re-engineer our partnerships for development with the community, private sector, and public sector. I am advising us to embrace Community Private-Public Partnership (CPPP) as a model where we all engage for the development aspirations championed by all.
- Let’s all work to ensure that the more than 65% votes that NRM got in Lango translate to development aspirations and outcomes for our people. I challenge us all to create a lobby group that will work with the party at local and national levels to ensure that the NRM government delivers on its promises in Lango based on our development needs.
- Let’s fast track the five years Lango Development Agenda (2021-2026). All splinter groups must converge and start working together. We must identify an institution that we can support to lead the way; whether Lango parliamentary group, Lango Chamber of Commerce, Lango LED Coordination team, Lango DLG Association among others. We can no longer afford to work selfishly.
- Let’s prioritize the education of our children. Let’s create a Lango education scholarship scheme for the talented yet poor Lango children. We can have each DLG contribute right from sub-county level annually and we start to act other than lament. Each family must agree to prioritize education. I charge each family to ensure that resources are mobilized to educate at least one child as a graduate in each family. This must become our unwritten policy for all families in Lango.
- Let’s all fight poverty through hard work right from each family. All family heads, clan leaders, and community leaders must ensure their economy improves. If you have land, use it for development. If it’s a season for work, mobilize all available family human resources (children, men and women) to work. Its work that chases poverty, not begging and loitering in trading centres. This will catapult Lango to a middle-income community before the rest of the country.
- For Lira City residents, we have agreed to create opportunities to dialogue with you on all development concerns.
Mr Ongom promises that “we shall engage, engage and engage with traders, landlords, private sector, communities etc. on all development issues for the development of Lira City”.
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However, he adds, we all must start to respect and honour our commitments and deliver together. We have already started to engage with the vendors on trade order.
Lira City, even before attaining a City status in 2020, was already struggling with garbage management and disposal. Failure by some outgoing political City leaders attracted wider concern from residents. Many now want the new leadership under City Mayor-elect, Mr Sam Atul to handle garbage and water issues.
In giving hope and assurance, president LCDF said: “We are also working on the garbage and other city challenges as we cooporate and participate at all levels. We want to build an inclusive and sustainable City free of indiscipline, chaos and impunity. By the time City council resorts to enforcement, it means all options must have been exhausted.”
“Let’s build this industrial and commercial hub as one of the best in Sub-Saharan Africa. I am optimistic that wed have what it takes to transform this land and leave it better for the next generation. Let’s unite and deliver on our mission.”