President Museveni has disclosed that if he knew earlier that fallen Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah was sick, he would not have allowed him to contest as speaker.
Museveni made the remarks at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds at Oulanyah’s State funeral.
“Health is a weapon. If you are fighters for Africa, you must pay attention to health because you must use it to fight for Africa,” he said.
He added, “That is why I discourage people from taking alcohol. It is not good for your health. Alcohol, obesity, umalaya (prostitution) are all bad. Fighters, your health is very crucial. Don’t risk it. In this case, Oulanyah was very disciplined but I came to know about the problem for the first time when he went to Dubai.”
Museveni added, “He was involved in all the politics in Omoro. If I had known, I would have told him to concentrate on his health. That speakership is very dangerous, sitting there the whole day. You shouldn’t accept that if you have some health issues.”
“During the competition for speakership, one of the ministers contacted me, he wanted to compete but I happened to know the health issues of that person. I told him, ‘don’t go I don’t want you to die because the speakership,” the president divulged.
The president further called upon mourners to emulate Oulanyah by breaking away from sectarian politics.
“Losing Oulanyah is a big loss. He was coming up and we were going to get a lot of benefits from him. He had already done a good job in uniting Northern Uganda. Northern Uganda had been messed up by bad politics. He broke away from sectarian politics of opposition and made good contribution to the country. When we supported Oulanyah to take up the duties of Deputy Speaker, he took that time to multiply his talents.”
“I want to salute Oulanyah and commend him to you. I don’t want to hear this ‘Northern’. Oulanyah was not a speaker for the North but for Uganda. When you hear them say, ‘Northern’, tell them to shut up,” he said.
The president called upon Ugandans to work hard for their children because they are their eternity.
“This business of God has called him. Why does God call only Africans? The average life expectancy of Japanese is 79. Why doesn’t he call Japanese? It is not God calling these Africans. We must look at the causes of these deaths.”
“Eternity, according to we Africans, is children. We work so that our children don’t live in a backward Uganda again but in a modern world,” he said.
Oulanyah, succumbed to cancer on March 20th in Seattle, USA.
By Temuseewo Mpoza