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Police block LoP, other MPs from speaking to Apaa land displaced victims

Police have blocked LoP, Betty Aol Ochan and other MPs including opposition chiefwhip from speaking to Apaa land displaced victims. (PML PHOTO)

APAA – A delegation of Members of Parliament (MPs) led by Leader of Opposition, Betty Aol Ocan and Opposition Chief whip have been blocked from speaking to the displaced people on the disputed Apaa land.

The MPS who had gone with a number of local leaders and reporters were denied to speak to locals by security forces guarding the area in Juuka, in Apaa land.

A security officer told MPs that they had received orders from Police top leadership not to allow MPs and the media to tour the contested area.

The contested Apaa land negotiations recently suffered yet another setback as leaders from both Acholi sub-region and Adjumani District failed to agree on President Museveni’s options of ending their long-running wrangle.

The contested land borders Amuru and Adjumani districts.
In December last year, the eight-member committees from both Acholi and Adjumani districts held another consultation meeting over the disputed land but failed to reach a consensus.

This third round of negotiations was chaired by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and held at Gulu Presidential State Lodge.

Aol Ochan, on Wednesday, February 13 started a weeklong tour that will see her visit schools and hold meetings with local leaders in the region.

Aol Ochan is leading a team of Members of the Opposition an oversight visit to assess the status of infrastructure, quality of services in the health facilities and working conditions of the health workers.

The Opposition is also seeking to know the rate of girl child school dropouts, status of provision of sanitary towels in schools and the overall management of refugees in camps.

On day one of her visit on Wednesday, Ochan met students of Pope Paul VI Anaka Secondary School in Nwoya who she encouraged to value education as a means of improving their livelihoods.

The LoP advised the students to study hard as education was the key to their better lives in the future.

“You need to get role models that you will emulate. Education is the stepping stone for a better livelihood in the years to come. There is very little that can be done without an education, “she said.

The head teacher, Mathew Ottober Obol said that the number of students dropping out of school due to pregnancies had reduced tremendously.

“Before we acquired a boarding section, students were sub-renting houses together and living as husband and wife. We discouraged this practice and in the year 2018, we had no dropouts due to pregnancies, “he said.

Obol added that they strengthened the girl child by having regular talks with them which improved their self-esteem and showed the importance of staying in school.

The Leader of the Opposition is accompanied by Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (FDC, Kira Municipality), Lucy Achiro (Indep. Aruu North), Lucy Akello (FDC, Aumu District) and Robinah Ssentongo ( DP, Kyotera District).

The others are Luttamaguzi Semakula (DP, Nakaseke South), Okin P.P Ojara (Indep. Chua West), Julius Ochen (Indep. Kapelebyong) and Bernard Atiku (Indep. Ayivu).

The team will tour Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum and Lamwo districts.

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