Arua, Uganda |DAILYNEWS UGANDA |
By President Museveni
I joined thousands of Ugandans to send-off Hon Ibrahim Abiriga, the slain Arua Municipality MP, and his brother, Saidi Buga, at their home in Lukudu village, Rhino Camp, Arua District.
On behalf of the government, the NRM party and my family, I extend condolences to the people of West Nile and the family of the late Abiriga on this painful loss.
Hon Abiriga was introduced to me by Gen. Adrisi, and I appointed him a Resident District Commissioner. He was a very resourceful person, initiating and supporting Saccos as RDC, while devotedly supporting the NRM party.
This devotion to the party went a notch higher when he became a Member of Parliament. Investigations are underway on the motive of his killers but it is possible some people hated him because of his love for the NRM.
The NRM has worked for peace and the people of West Nile can testify about this. It is because of this peace that a large section of West Nilers were able to return from exile.
In the Bible, in the book of Matthew 7:6, it says, “Thou shalt not put your pearls before pigs…” This means that there are evil people who cannot see good things. Like swine, they do not appreciate gold. Hon Abiriga was gold.
He was a good mobiliser and popular not just in Arua here but even in Kagoma, Wakiso District where he lived. I witnessed this the other day when I went to his home.
You saw it in Parliament too. Despite being a Sunday and announced at short notice, Parliament was filled to capacity as MPs eulogised him. That is how popular Abiriga was.
Why then would someone kill an elected leader of the people? If you start a war with NRM, you will lose. If you find a man in his house and kill him, you are a pig. A fighter goes to the bush and declares war.
The NRM brought a good, reconciliatory spirit. We promote brotherhood. It is why many of you who had gone to exile in Congo were able to come back. Today, none of our citizens are refugees, instead we host those from other countries.
We believe in discussing with opponents and try to win them over. We do not kill. Here, Hon Kassiano Wadri opposed me for a long time but we co-existed. Therefore, those behind these killings are enemies of the people. They are pigs who do not value life.
Whereas I am saddened, I am confident that we shall defeat these people. Let me also put on notice those abusing social media and radios to threaten people, we shall get you. You cause anxiety by the sort of things you say, promoting hate.
As a society, we have the capacity to stop this nonsense. This is not a military problem. Looking for a terrorist is like searching for a needle in a haystack. United, we can fight them using community intelligence but also checking the excesses in the media. Hate speech in the media must stop.
Going forward, we are going to implement the following measures; motorcycle riders should stop wearing hoods. They also must get new helmets with numbers visible even at night.
The government will support both Abiriga and Buga’s families. At Rhino Camp, we shall build a school in his memory. I have been informed he was supporting his clan. They will form a SACCO and my office will offer Shs50m as start-up capital.
I thank the people of Rhino Camp for turning up in big numbers to send off our brothers. May their souls rest in peace.