ARLPI Elects Bishop Johnson Gakumba as New Chairman
By Loum Patrick and Nicole Enns Fehr
On Thursday August 6, 2010 the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative’s (ARLPI) Governing Council elected Rt. Rev. Johnson Gakumba from the Anglican Northern Uganda Diocese to be the new ARLPI Chairman. He will immediately take up the position for a two-year term of office. The elections took place at St. Monica’s Girl’s Tailoring School Gulu.
The outgoing Chairman, the Most Rev. John Baptist Odama the Archbishop of Gulu archdiocese, stated his appreciation for the trust placed in him since 2002 when he was first elected as chairman. He graciously passed on the title to Bishop Johnson Gakumba encouraging the new chairman to take up the challenge ahead of him and work closely with the vice chairman, All Hajji Sheik Musa Khalil, who has been re-elected for the same office. In his acceptance speech Bishop Gakumba praised the outgoing chairman for working tirelessly for peace in the region. The Archbishop will now embark on national duties as the chairman for the Episcopal Conference of Uganda Catholic Bishops and other international duties in Rome while remaining an active member of ARLPI’s Governing Council.
The incoming chairman requested cooperation and guidance as he is also newly appointed to the office of Bishop for the Northern Uganda diocese. He thanked the other newly elected members for their acceptance of leadership positions within ARLPI.
Others elected to posts on the ARLPI Governing Council include: All Hajji Sheik Musa Khalil (Khadi Acholi Muslim Council) as the vice chairman, Rt. Rev. Bishop Sabino Odoki (auxiliary bishop of Gulu Arch diocese) as treasurer, and Rt. Rev. Macleord Baker Ochola (retired bishop of Kitgum diocese) as representative for the retired religious leaders. Mrs. Florence Olango (Headteacher Gulu S.S) was elected Chairperson of the Finance, Administration and Welfare committee while programme committee chair went to Mrs. Simporoza Otim (deputy Headteacher Opit S.S).
The same Council confirmed Rev. Father John Felix Opiyo as the chairman Board of Directors (BOD) for the Acholi Education Initiative (AEI) and Rt. Rev Nelson Onono Onweng as the president of AEI. AEI was born out of ARLPI to offer scholarships to secondary and university students who require financial assistance. The ARLPI Governing Council also forms the AEI Board of Trustees (BOT).