Security officials in Gulu district have cautioned residents to suspend hanging out late at night as cases of crime escalate in Gulu Town.
Captain Santos Okot Lapolo, Gulu resident district commissioner admits that it is becoming difficult to secure every homestead at night. He says in the meantime, residents should desist from hanging out late in the night or walk in groups if they must.
The caution comes as an atmosphere of fear hangs over Gulu town following the gruesome murder of the municipal deputy town clerk, John Oola Omona last night. His attackers smashed his head using a blunt object at about mid night.
Omona was attacked by unknown assailants in a poorly lit neighbourhood in Kanyagoga B Parish in Bar Dege Division. Police say he was attacked as he dropped off a friend in front of her gate.
As news of his murder spread, a sombre mood has descended over the town. Offices in Gulu Municipal council remain empty as staff mourns a fallen colleague.
Family members have asked for time to mourn Omona and his brother Thomas Opira, the under-secretary in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Opira, the husband of Omoro Woman Member of Parliament succumbed to an undisclosed disease at Gulu Hospital over the weekend.
Step FM visited the mortuary at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital where both bodies are being kept. Police pathologists had convened to conduct postmortems.
More than 50 residents assembled around grieving relatives to view the remains of the former deputy town clerk. They stood still in silence and occasionally wondered why assailants would take the lives of others.
Residents gather at Gulu Referal Hospital Mortuary to see the body of slain Oola PHOTO CREDIT URN
An employee of Gulu Municipal Council who declined to be identified told Step FM from the mortuary that Omona left office at about 8PM. “He had very young children. How can people be so heartless?” she wondered.
Gulu district chairperson Martin Ojara Mapenduzi and Municipal Mayor George Labeja looked shocked. They declined to offer any comment as they co-ordinated an exercise to conduct a postmortem.
Retired Bishop of Northern Uganda, Nelson Onono Onweng, could not hold back tears as he approached the morgue with lots of emotion. “The killings have got out of hand and are threatening to nullify the prevailing peace in the region,” he said as he sobbed.
Patrick Oola Lumumba, the Bar Dege Division Chairperson, says residents should cooperate with security to curtail the insecurity.
By the time of filing this story, security committee led by Bosco Otim, the Regional Police Commander and RDC Okot Lapolo were in an emergency security meeting to discuss the deteriorating insecurity.
Omona’s murder came hours after Justine Oloya, a resident of Kanyagoga A parish sustained deep cuts to his face in a similar attack.
Gulu town, just like most of Northern Uganda, is recovering from the two decades of war orchestrated by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Since last year, iron-bar hit men have carried out attacks killing dozens of people.
Despite scores of suspects being arrested by Police, security is yet to establish the motive of the attacks as assailants never collect valuables from their victims.