Gulu Pays Tribute To Fallen Educationist

Abitimo’s remains at the  Gulu Council hall today where c Councillors and the public paid their respect (Photo by James Owich)

Gulu District Councilors  and members of the public have eulogized Rebecca Abitimo Odongokara, a re-known educationist over efforts to educate the vulnerable in northern Uganda.

While paying their last respect during a full council meeting on Thursday, the politicians described the late Abitimo as a woman who had a big heart for the people.

Santa Oketa, the Secretary for Production and Marketing who moved the motion lauded Abitimo for her effort which saw the government sign a peace deal in 1987 with the former rebels of the Uganda People’s Defence Army, remnants of Gen Tito Okello Lutwa forces. Oketa described the late Abitimo as a pillar of peace.

In 1987, the late Abitimo mobilized women through her group, Mothers are Pillars, and held a peaceful demonstration against the atrocities allegedly committed by the UPDA against women and children.

According to Oketa, this put pressure on the rebels and forced Okello Okeno, the commander of the UPDA rebels to sign a peace deal with President Museveni at Pece Stadium in Gulu town in 1987, ushering in a degree of peace in northern Uganda.

Another councilor, Francesca Amony, expressed sorrow and described Abitimo as a role model who made a big contribution for northern Uganda.

John Okwonga, the Gulu District Council Speaker says it is painful to lose a person like Abitimo who had the rare personality that inspired many.

Abitimo, 82, was the first entrepreneur to set up a private nursery and primary school in Gulu district in 1989. She succumbed to a Chronic Lung Disease illness on July 10 at International Hospital Kampala.

She held a Masters in Arts degree in Human Service from Philadelphia where she fled the excesses of the Idi Amin junta in 1973. She is by eight biological children.

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