Ibrahim Abiriga was a member of parliament representing Arua Municipality in Northern Uganda. He was a controversial figure on the national scene having championed the lifting of the presidential age limit last year, a subject that heatedly debated in parliament to the extent of physical fighting and military intervention.
Residents of Arua became violent and rowdy, when the body of their fallen legislator was flown by chopper to an airstrip in the town. Videos shared on social media showed residents who hijacked the bodies of Abiriga and his brother who was killed with him from the ambulances headed to his home, destroyed property and confronted the police.
I only need focus from our MPs so that we budget adequately for the anti-crime infrastructure and for wealth and job creation ahead of consumption and administration.
This’s the scene of the funeral of murdered Ugandan MP, Ibrahim Abiriga according to Madi-Okollo culture pic.twitter.com/bBTzXO0qhf
— Air Raid (@OdogwuOgbete) June 10, 2018
Local newspaper Daily Monitor reported that the police and security forces had to disperse the rowdy youth who were determined to cause as much destruction as possible.
“We had to swing into action because the youths had turned rowdy and causing destruction. We have not yet established how many vehicles and motorcycles were vandalised. But one motorcycle was burnt near Bugema University, Arua campus,” said Josephine Angucia, the regional police spokesperson.
Museveni lays out security strategy
Earlier in the day, Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, penned a letter condemning Abiriga’s killers and prescribing technical solutions to the security crisis in the country.
Museveni who described the killers as ‘pigs and parasites’, said the government would dedicate resources towards modernising the anti-crime capacity of the security forces and also require citizens to be more vigilant.
He reiterated the need for installation of cameras on highways, offices and homes, and tracking of all auto-mobiles in the country through mandatory mounting of tracking devices on vehicles.
‘‘I only need focus from our MPs so that we budget adequately for the anti-crime infrastructure and for wealth and job creation ahead of consumption and administration,’‘ the president said.
These criminals think that they will kill people to fail and discredit the government. Rest assured we shall stop them. Whoever kills will pay with their own blood. My request to you the public is that you cooperate and collaborate with us.
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) June 9, 2018
Abiriga eulogised in parliament
Legislators who convened on Sunday eulogised their counterpart in moving tributes, describing him as an honest, loyal and ‘a man of the people’.
Many called on the government to provide answers to the many questions citizens have on the rampant kidnaps, murders and rapes that have rocked the country for some time now.