It follows threats by supporters of Esrom Alenyo, the former District LC V to engage in civil disobedience to protest the court of appeal ruling that reinstated his rival Robert Okumu.
Authorities in Nebbi District have warned of dire consequences for anyone who will breach public peace and order under the guise of freedom of expression. It follows threats by supporters of Esrom Alenyo, the former District LC V to engage in civil disobedience to protest the court of appeal ruling that reinstated his rival Robert Okumu.
Alenyo, who had initially been declared winner of last year’s election lost out to National Resistance Movement’s Okumu in a vote recount ordered by the Nebbi Chief Magistrate’s Court. Alenyo petitioned the High Court in Arua which ruled in his favor only for the Court of Appeal to reverse the ruling. Alenyo has since applied for a review of the ruling.
William Alenyo, a son to Alenyo, says they feel their father has been denied victory, adding that should the review favor Okumu they will urge their supporters to engage in civil disobedience. Asked what forms the civil disobedience will take, William Alenyo says they do not rule out riots and boycott of local government programmes and activities.
Last year Alenyo’s supporters staged a string of riots protesting the swearing-in of Okumu in which two people died, scores injured and houses destroyed. Over 30 rioters were arrested and detained for over six months in Arua Prison.
In response, Nebbi District Police Commander Maxwell Ogwal says the police will follow the law and will deal squarely with any disturbances. He instead advises residents to take advantage of the prevailing peace and the rains to engage in agriculture to improve their lives.
Betty Adima, the Nebbi Resident District Commissioner who also oversees security in the district, says the people of Nebbi love peace and will not allow to be swayed into hooliganism. Robert Okumu, the Nebbi LC V chairman says that he is ready to work with all for the good of the district. He says no amount of threats can make him lose any sleep because the court ruling was clear.
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