Rwot Acana disputes legitimacy of rival faction's election roadmap

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Rwot Acana disputes legitimacy of rival faction's election roadmap
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By Denis Opoka

The power struggle within the Acholi chiefdom has escalated, as the incumbent paramount chief, Rwot David Onen Acana, has strongly rejected the purported election plan of a rival faction.

In a strongly-worded statement at a press conference in Gulu city, Rwot Acana denounced the rival faction's move as 'illegal' and 'a desperate attempt to seize power', vowing to take all necessary steps to protect the integrity of the Acholi throne.

This sets the stage for a potentially explosive showdown between the two factions and threatens to further divide the community.

Last week, a rival faction led by Rwot Richard Apire, interim chairperson and Clan Chief of Atiak, announced plans to hold an election for the new paramount chief of Acholi cultural institution on June 14 at Accaki Hotel in Kitgum Municipality.

Rwot Acana stated that the rival faction's plan to hold an election for the new paramount chief contradicts many laws and rules in Acholi culture.

He requested them to stop it immediately or hold the election under a different name, stating that the institution's name cannot be used without proper authority.

“If they wish to proceed with the election, it must be under a different name, not Ker Kwaro, because the institution’s name cannot be used in that manner,” Acana cautioned.

He also accused the faction of misleading the clan chiefs into signing documents for the alleged constitution drafting and the upcoming election, claiming they were tricked into believing they were registering for government assistance.

Eleven clan chiefs supported Acana's allegation, stating that they were approached in a similar manner by the rival faction, under false pretenses for registering with the government for housing assistance.

Among the clan chiefs is Rwot Ojwiya Martine of Agoro Logorone Kal Ngaro clan, who testified about being tricked into signing the document.The interim spokesperson for the rival faction, Robert Adong-Akullu denied the allegations when contacted, stating that they were in a meeting to be briefed on the incident at Acana’s home before giving a comprehensive response.

47 out of 58 Clan Chiefs in the Acholi Sub-region, along with their respective Prime Ministers, attended the council of chiefs meeting called by Rwot David Onen Acana at his palace in Gulu City on Tuesday, the purpose of the meeting was to address the urgent matter of the purported election of a new Lawirwodi by a rival faction.

During the meeting, these clan chiefs promised not to participate in the upcoming election, as they considered it to be unconstitutional and illegal to attend such an election.

The faction had split from Acana's leadership in June last year, citing allegations of financial mismanagement, failure to draft a constitution, and attempts to sell off properties belonging to the Acholi Cultural Institution. Acana strongly denied these allegations.


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