“Members of Parliament from Acholi, West Nile, and Lango sub-regions have threatened to boycott the elections of the Speaker of Parliament if the Central Executive Committee of the NRM fails to nominate the candidates they endorsed for Speakership. The group wants the Speaker’s position ring-fenced in relation to the region’s contribution in last year’s general polls” (NBS Television, 22.03.2022).
The Acholi Parliamentary Group has already endorsed Hilary Onek, as the Minister and MP for Speaker. While the recent reports and the NRM Electoral Commission had a list of 13 MPs wanting to be the Speaker. Onek wasn’t on the list published by Dr. Tanga Odoi today. Meaning he has not shown interest or in time for the NRM EC to be eligible for the election.
By the list of NRM EC the ones who fits this description is Jackson Atima of Arua, Denis Hamson Obua of Abletong, Felix Okot Ogong of Dokolo, Jane Ruth Aceng of Lira and John Amos Okot of Agago.
So, out of the 13 MPs seeking to be Speaker … 5 of these are from the Greater North or the region of which they ring-fencing the Speakership of the Parliament. This is making it tribal and using the Acholi or North as a reason for someone to get elected. It is not saying they have the best person or the one who is fit to be the speaker.
We know that the Northern MPs and Acholi Parliamentary Group can petition all they want and say they want it again. Because, late Jacob Oulanyah came from the region. That all makes sense, but there is no ownership of the office of speaker. Just like there is no ring-fencing of the Presidency or anything else. There is no unwritten rules either. At least not by the Constitution or anywhere else.
This is just sentiments to ensure the Acholi and Greater North has a say. That all makes sense. However, the ideals will all depend on if any of the NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) will put this into consideration or implement it. Because it all depends on this body and than later in the election the NRM follow this decision. That is how things goes and this will be no different.
If the Greater Northern MPs thinks so. They have to prove it, but they shouldn’t count on it. The NRM can use the tribalism and these grounds to not accept it. Since, they can speak of merit and qualifications. Nevertheless, the NRM has a hard choice and a region wants answers. This will not be easy…
The NRM CEC isn’t fileld with Northerners either. The NRM have an issue of appointing Westerns to the highest offices and become prominent within the party. So, if they want to give the Republic another picture. They can prove that very easily. Nevertheless, it is hard to count on it.
The nomination is up for grabs and everything is just speculations. The truth will be out tomorrow and the NRM CEC has a die to cast. No matter what eyes they get. It will have ramification and one favoured MP will become the next Speaker of the 11th Parliament. Peace.