Sunday, July 21, 2024

OWEYEGHA AFUNADUULA: My Tribute To The Jacob Oulanyah I Knew

Jacob Oulanyah- File Photo

There is no doubt that the world – defined as the people around us – was cruel to him, yet God wanted him to serve the world. Wasn’t Jesus Christ also treated the same way? What more would Jesus have done for humanity? What more would Jacob Oulanyah have done for Ugandans?

Injustice is a bad vice. It reflects diminishing faith, hope and love in the human race, and rising greed, selfishness and hate instead.

I did not know Jacob Oulanyah until the early 1990s, may be because I was outside the country. It was Ambassador Henry Mayega who introduced him to me in Wandegeya as former Speaker of the Makerere University Students Guild.
Just like I did not know Nobert Mao until he visited me at my Makerere University flat at Ssemakokiro Flats to tell me that he intended to stand for MP back home. Those days politicians from across the board -young and old -used to interact with me at my flat a great deal for intellectual oxygen.

So, when Ambassador Henry Mayega introduced the late Jacob Oulanyah to me, I immediately sensed that the man was a young burgeoning brain destined for great things, the same way I concluded about Nobert Mao. Ambassador Henry Mayega introduce the late Jacob Oulanyah as a UPC.

I was happy because I knew that Party used to mentor young people into genuine leaders and nationalists. He sounded intelligent and confident when he talked to me. And I regretted I had not interacted with him enough.

But I knew that he was interacting with great personalities in the UPC such as Obote(during 1980-85 and by remote sensing), Cicelia Ogwal, Prof. Jethro Opolot, Ben Wacha, Kagenda Atwoki, Patrick Mwondha, Prof Adonia Tiberondewa, Dr. James Rwanyarare and Professor Patrick Rubaihayo, to name but a few.

If one wanted to become politically developed and politically literate, being in touch with such people would be beneficial. Getting out of touch with them could be detrimental in the long-term. One could lose in genuine leadership and genuine nationalism and find oneself at the centre of destructive politics.

The next and last time I met Jacob Oulanyah was when I was a member of the Presidential Policy Commission of UPC, just before Obote decided to sack me from the Commission. I think the old man did not like my being independent minded and too inquisitive when certain unexplainable political events took at Floor Six of Uganda House of Uganda House.

May be I was not adequately political enough, since I never entertained lies and falsehoods. Otherwise, that day when I met Jacob Oulanyah at the PPC, we were discussing the strategy UPC Members of Parliament should collectively take in face of the numerous illegitimate legislation emanating from the House.

Jacob Oulanyah was one of the MPs. I noted that although he was good orator and powerful speaker, he chose to remain silent. May be that was about the time he was considering to cross over to NRM.

May be not since he still had the voters in his Constituency still in love with him. He was performing. It was the same constituents who voted him when he joined NRM and started his rise to power at the centre. It was not supersonic rise but it could have angered some people.

We shall miss Hon. Jacob Oulanyah greatly. If it was not God’s plan that he died at 56, and in the manner prescribed by his elderly father, then were yet to see his influence on society via Parliament.

May the Soul of Jacob Oulanyah Rest in Peace

For God And My Country.

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