The talk of the Northern region seceding from Uganda to form an independent State for the second day running have surfaced on the floor of the parliament, causing emotional reactions from the different legislators from the region.
The issue was first hinted on by Agago North MP, Prof. Morris Ogenga Latigo on Tuesday who said there is growing discrimination against the people in the North, who he said are now considering the proposal to secede.
During the Wednesday age limit debate, Aswa County MP, Reagan Okumu warned that any debate should be handled with care not basing on the majority in the house to disfranchise the minority of their rights.
“I have been in this Parliament for some time, the people of the Northern have expressed concern over a number of issues; we have had our own voting pattern for all these years and everybody knows,” Okumu told the House.
The MP said that Politics and democracy are about consensus and not necessarily the majority. He called upon members to listen to another group that has consistently raised their reservations or else the nation will break.
“I want to bring a message from the people I come from demanding that; either Uganda goes a 100% federal today or we secede,” Okumu said.
The Legislator argued that there is need for federal power so that the different regions own certain responsibilities themselves.
“There is going to be no way you are going to continue sitting on the population whose intent are different from yours simply because you have the majority; never, never….We shall not accept that, whatever means, you have sat on us so much, we shall decide our destiny, we shall secede and we are more than enough.”
Okumu added, “We have the resources to have our own autonomy as well as the human ability to be independent.”
However, Amuria County MP and State Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Francis Musa Ecweru hit back saying that no one should use Parliament as a platform of intimidation purporting that the people in the North want to secede.
“The People of Amuria told me to go and tell Ugandans that even if it means disagreeing, we shall remain together as Uganda. I want to assure this country that the whole question of secession of North or North Eastern Uganda is something that is in the mind of the person who may have said it.”
Ecweru said Ugandans will remain one despite the disagreements among the members of parliament.
“This country will never break up. We are there to make sure that this country remains together and will do everything possible to make this country one; no one will intimidate us. You tried and failed and we will make you fail again. I am on a record having defeated a group that wanted to secede, we will defeat again.”