The Speaker of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Rt Hon. Martin Ngoga has eulogized former Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, describing him as, ‘a great leader who had a great potential’.
“At the age of 56, his political potential as a citizen and a leader has been cut short but in the short time he lived, he achieved a lot for the country and the East African region,” Ngoga said.
Ngoga said this as he addressed journalists after signing the condolence book at Parliament on 28 March 2022.
Ngoga, together with four EALA representatives, Hon. George Odongo, Rose Akol, James Kakooza and Mary Mugyenyi were received by Parliament Speaker, Anita Among and her deputy, Thomas Tayebwa.
Ngoga said that he was looking forward to working with Oulanyah as a member of the Speaker’s Bureau but unfortunately it has not happened.
“We thank the leadership of parliament and the government for the effort to save the life of Jacob. You did your best to get him treated but unfortunately, the timing was not ours,” said Ngoga.
He also congratulated Among and Tayebwa upon their election saying that he is looking forward to working with them.
“We thank you for the smooth election. We have to continue serving these institutions that are very important for our countries and our people,” he said.
He said that the Ugandan Parliament has uniquely supported the agenda of EALA adding that the Assembly enjoys a special relationship with Uganda.
“This has been the case with the previous leadership and I believe it will even be stronger under the new leadership,” said Ngoga.
Among applauded the EALA leadership for their support towards the Ugandan Parliament.
“We want to thank you for making time to be with us during this trying moment. The Bible says that it is better to go where there is mourning than where there is celebration,” Among said.
She also pledged to continue promoting the spirit of togetherness or Ubuntu, something that Oulanyah was passionate about.
“We dearly miss Jacob. He has been an icon, very honest and a knowledgeable man. He knew what he wanted to do in this institution. He wanted to build this institution. As a country and as Parliament, we did everything humanly possible to save him,” she said.
Oulanyah died in Seattle, United States of America (USA) on Sunday, 20 March 2022. Oulanyah’s body is expected to be repatriated this week.