North has the ministers but shall we now lay tarmac for their V8?

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North has the ministers but shall we now lay tarmac for their V8?
Benson Ongom

Saddening to know, most districts in Lango do not have tarmac.

By Benson Ongom

Uh, recently, during the Cabinet Reshuffle, I saw many celebrating what they termed as “win for the region”; new faces Lillian Aber, Kenneth Omona and Phiona Nyamutoro, all across the Nile bridge. Well, this might seem a fresh beginning in an old form.

To be honest, personally, I have known the two, Aber and Omona then and now. If not forgotten, among the few who had a candid, well thought conversation during my time in the newsroom, was Aber and Omona. For Nyamutoro, I have heard good things about her.

Well, is it the time to celebrate or not? What do the new faces bring to the table? Are they any different? Will they change their aligned posts?

Again, these are just thoughts and expectations. I feel sorry for my friend Grace Kwiyucwiny. In her last days, she tried to pull her socks up but again, northern Uganda is unique with its own challenges and opportunities.

As for minister, Dr Omona, will he address the wavering poverty, will he re-address the gaps/ challenges the old government programmes had, what of the education and investment challenges?

On a phone call last week, I boldly spoke about a common-man support towards his new elevation. But again, that depends entirely on his effort to address some of the challenges the north has had.

Meanwhile, the jokers have belittled Aber’s appointment to her association with the First Son. What pettiness! I have personally known Lillian for years; when she was nothing till she got to somewhere.

One of her traits that makes me believe she can do better, is her zeal to out-perform herself and be impactful. What I’m not sure of, is the fact that the office of the prime minister has its own politics and tickles. Will it be any different?

Dear new ministers, the region is not bleeding as many say or describe, but it needs honest guidance and being intentional. Leave the sleeves of the government posts, come down to people, understand the needs, talk to the people not at people, engage them, listen to them.

Acholi, Lango and West Nile has huge potential, but we need to be honest to our problems and how to deal with them.

The old we….

Dear Minister, Mao, Ali, Kaducu, Oryem, Anywar, Onek, Obua, Aceng, Amongi, Obiga, Anite, …. you are in that position, we need to start showing and leading by example. Too many talents among you.

What are we lacking as a region, why can’t we strive as hard as other regions? Do we have a problem as voters from the north? We need to answer these questions with absolute honesty.

Why do we see the good things from other regions, what have we done wrong, why can’t we have those massive factories in the north, why can’t West Nile have power connected to the national grid, why can’t Lango have tarmac roads connecting from Aboke to Otuke, Amolatar to Apac?

Saddening to know, most districts in Lango do not have tarmac.

So much potential, too many expectations and that’s the hope, you need to boldly negotiate in that kitchen. The President must support all of you for the region to reach its full potential.

We love the sound of the latest V8 touring our murram roads, we only yearn it was on a tarmac road, we want to feel proud of you. But how can we do this on the empty stomach of our mothers, and a region with so much pain over the past tears of war.

Let me ask, don’t you feel bad with all the calls, SMSes, for those asking for money, school fees, and health, don’t they bother you? Let’s empower our people.

2026….

Too many speculations, not bad to speculate, on Twitter, now X, I have seen young people warming up for different slots, the majority eyeing Parliament.

Not a bad thing, in my opinion, even for the new breed who want to lead, local politics that guides our people is the best, you will have the money in parliament, so what of the common man.

I’m bothered, I have been approached and asked these questions many times, Ongom, are you for Mayor, or Gulu East? I’m for none. Why is it that those young energetic persons who have excelled in their professions are pushed to politics? Can we all serve from where we are? Why should all yearn for politics?

Dear young people from Acholi, Lango, West Nile, if your teacher, lawyer, doctor, stays there and changes your community by being intentional, you too be that. I agree, some may be having a calling to lead, but we can lead from where we are. Acholi, Lango and West Nile have never lacked leaders, we will not as well

But do we have the right leaders now….

This is not an answer for me to pen, we need to ask ourselves; are those we have elected right from LC1 to the top representing us? Do they work for us? Do they help us? Do they guide us? Do they hope for us? And do they yearn for a better Northern Uganda?

These are for you to answer. Honestly, we need to start demanding for things that better us not “if a leader comes for my traditional marriage, burial etc.” we need to demand for things that change our community.

All in all, have we changed now, it’s us to reflect on and answer in honesty.

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