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The President Museveni, Hon Lillian and The King of Acholi

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has commended the recently appointed Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hon. Dr. Lillian Aber for proving that being disadvantaged at birth is not a disability.

President Museveni receiving Gifts from Hon Lillian and Her Family

                    President  Yoweri Museveni 

Government Chief Whip  Hon.Hamson Obua with Hon. Minister Lillian  Aber as they arrive.

         Crowds watch the Proceedings.

Hon. Minister Lillian  Aber  arrives.

                                              Singer Eddie Kenzo entertains crowds.

Toyota,Ministers Evelyne Anite and Minister Ogwang Peter

               President Yoweri Museveni arrives.

Ministers including Hon Lucy receive blessings.

Hon. Minister Lillian Aber with the NRM Secretary Gen Richard Twodong.

                                             President Yoweri Museveni arrives.

Hon. Aber, who is also the Woman Member of Parliament for Kitgum District, comes from a very humble background and growing up, she faced a lot of hardships especially when it came to acquiring Education. And according to the Minister, she almost gave up but thank God that a good samaritan came her way and helped to meet her fees expenses.

“I want to congratulate my granddaughter Lillian Aber for proving that being disadvantaged at birth is not a disability. Our children should not be surviving by luck like Lillian Aber, but I thank you for surviving. That is not the vision of the NRM. The NRM wants all children to survive through equal opportunities,” President Museveni said.

The President made the remarks today as a chief guest during the homecoming and thanksgiving ceremony of Hon. Aber, held at Kitgum Institute playground.

President Museveni explained that through various programs and affirmative action, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) gives opportunities to all Ugandans to have a fair share of the national cake irrespective of their background.

“Wherever you are, work hard and trust God. The NRM gives the opportunities and we do it deliberately,” he said.

“People don’t listen to what the NRM advises them, otherwise all the opportunities are there. You hear Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga; this is money put by the NRM that could be used by the disadvantaged people to start from somewhere.”

President Museveni reiterated his call to leaders to focus on helping and mobilising Ugandans to create wealth through the right enterprise selection with “ekibaro” (calculation).

According to the President, there’s a big presence when it comes to issues of development, education, health and security in the country but there’s still a big gap when it comes to wealth creation, especially in the rural areas.

“When I was coming here today, I could see development in the form of roads, buildings, hotels, etc. That is good, but that development is managed by some groups, not all people. I want you to put the emphasis on the wealth creation of the people in rural areas,” he urged.

President Museveni added that in order to create wealth, Ugandans should embrace the government’s poverty alleviation programs such as Parish Development Model and Emyooga.

“In a parish you could handle 100 homesteads in a year and remember after 24 months, the one who took the money could have paid back. It is not money for the government but for the parish SACCO. We are creating a parish bank for you and the interest is very small, only 10 percent after 2 years,” he said.

“Go to your parish and find out how many homesteads have received the money. We rejected the cheap politics of giving Shs100,000 to each person, instead we give Shs1m to a homestead through PDM. And if we see that the speed is not enough, we shall go back and discuss, then, increase to Shs200m each year. Therefore, the debate here should not be I did not receive but did somebody in your parish receive that money properly. This is what the MPs and other leaders should monitor, then we can judge whether we should put in more money or not.”

On the other hand, President Museveni re-emphasized his call for free education in all government schools.

He said that a big number of children drop out of schools due to some education stakeholders who insist on charging fees from children of poor Ugandans.

“Let the NRM ministers and backbenchers support all government programs,” he added.

On the issue of elephants from Murchison Falls National Park attacking people in communities of Kitgum,  the President said he will direct the Ministry of Tourism to put up an electric fence to deal with the problem.

On the issue of limited slots in the Presidential skilling hub program, President Museveni advised that the Members of Parliament should work with the government to ensure that the operational budget is increased so that the number of beneficiaries is increased.

“The better solution is for the MPs to work with me so that we increase the intake of beneficiaries. It is better than building new skilling hubs.”

The NRM Secretary General, Rt. Hon. Richard Todwong lauded President Museveni for bringing peace and stability in Northern Uganda that has created a conducive environment for the people to settle and improve their livelihoods through fighting poverty.

“Your Excellency, I thank you for mentoring, guiding and identifying young people and putting them in the positions of leadership.  We believe that in your hands, we are safe as a country, and we are focused on grooming more young leaders. We thank you for appointing Hon. Lillian Aber, Hon. Nyamutoro and all other young leaders.”

The Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Eng. Hilary Onek appreciated President Museveni for his love towards the people of Acholi.

“We thank you for appointing our daughter Lillian Aber and I also thank you for retaining me. We shall work very closely, and I will try as much as possible to mentor her,” he said.

Eng. Onek also commended the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) in the region for doing an excellent work in monitoring and mobilisation of masses. He added that the newly appointed Assistant RDCs; two per district, will also help to intensify the operations of the Office of the RDC.

On her part, Hon. Aber expressed gratitude towards President Museveni for giving her a chance to serve Uganda as a Minister.

“Your Excellency today is a very special day. I want to sincerely thank you because from the very first time as a young girl from the university you guided, mentored and even appointed me to your office. Who am I? I never knew that one day I will stand here as a minister,” Hon. Aber noted.

“I thank you for entrusting me with a ministerial position. I’m indebted to you, Your Excellency.”

She also thanked all those who contributed to her life journey.

Hon. Aber also pledged to the President that she will ensure that his dream of ensuring that a better Uganda is achieved.

“We shall preach the gospel of wealth creation and fight our enemy called poverty,” she assured.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Henry Okello Oryem said he was very excited upon learning that Hon. Aber had been appointed Minister and thanked President Museveni for making the right decision.

“We thank you, Your Excellency, for giving her this opportunity. The job of the Minister is not easy, it has a lot of obstacles but I have no doubt that Lillian will perform,” Hon. Oryem said.

The Minister also lauded the Uganda People’s Defence Forces for pacifying the Acholi Subregion but asked Gen. Museveni to add more manpower to the force so that they deal with the issue of the Karamojong warriors once and for all.

The Kitgum Municipality MP, Hon. Onekalit Denis Amere noted that the coming of the people of Kitgum together to celebrate today was a manifestation that they are indeed happy for the appointment of Hon. Aber as Minister.

“Your Excellency, I’m privileged to stand before you today after 13 years. The last time I welcomed you was in 2011 when I was the Guild President of Makerere University when you were launching the Kiira EV car. As the people of Acholi, we wholeheartedly thank you for appointing one of our own as Minister,” he said.

Hon. Amere disclosed that the President made the right choice in appointing Hon. Aber because she has the potential.

The LCV Chairperson for Kitgum District, Mr. Arwai Christopher Obol also thanked President Museveni for appointing Hon. Aber as Minister.

“We are very inspired by your being part of this celebration in honour of Hon. Lillian Aber whom you elevated to Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees. We thank you for appointing her as Minister,” Mr. Obol said.

“We want to pledge that we shall offer support to our leaders so that they deliver upon their mandate.”

He also thanked President Museveni through the NRM government for curbing down the Karamojong warrior’s atrocities like cattle rustling in the region.

Mr. Obol further assured the President that the Parish Development Model program is doing well in Kitgum.

The event was attended by Ministers, Members of Parliament, Cultural and religious leaders, among others.


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