Residents of Lira district are directing anger at police following the manner in which a revered cultural leader was arrested yesterday.
Benjamin Okii, approved claimant to the Lango cultural throne and clan chief of Okii Bako was roughed up by a team of police officers yesterday on accusations of degrading a wetland in Lira municipality by using several acres to cultivate crops.
Several residents have since come out to condemn the force applied by police officers to arrest the cultural who stripped him down in the process before bundling him into a police pickup.
Derrick Ochan, sickness a student leader at Lira University demands that police apologizes to the Lango people for shaming their leader and unconditionally releases him from custody.
Ochen threatens that if the law enforcement body does not comply, dosage he will mobilize colleagues at the university to conduct a mass demonstration on the streets of Lira Town to express their anger.
Dr.Dan Okello, the Lira District Uganda People’s Congress chairperson says it is unfortunate that police officers who arrested the cultural leader like a chicken thief.
Dr. Okello says given his position, police should have summoned Okii to Lira Central Police station instead of raiding his residence the way they did.
Okello says the manner in which police arrested the tribal chief is both insulting and an affront to the Lango people and their culture.
Michael Otto, a member of the Lango Council Of Clan leaders questions why police continues to hold unto the cultural leader despite subjecting him to the highest level of shame during arrest.
Otto advises that to cool down the wrath of residents, Police needs to set Oki free either unconditionally or under bond.
North Kioga Police spokesperson David Ongom Mudong however, defends the force applied during the arrest explaining that the cultural leader turned violent.
Ongom explains that Okii threatened to attack arresting officers forcing them to handle him the way they did.
The police spokesperson says Okii had cultivated 20 acres of the water catchment area and officers were implementing a directive recently issue by President Museveni for them to arrest wetland degraders.
Jacob Ochen, the information Minister Lango Cultural Foundation says the institution will issue a statement over the matter after obtaining sufficient facts regarding the arrest.
The cultural chief remains detained at Lira Central Police Station where police says he will be arraigned before court on Monday, next week after investigations are complete.