President of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah was announced dead on Sunday afternoon after an illness that kept him away from public and parliamentary work.
He died in the United States where he had been taken for treatment.
The Nile Post, however, takes a look at some of his memorable quotes.
On May 24, 2021, Omoro County Legislator Jacob LÓkori Oulanyah became Speaker of Parliament after beating his former boss Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga in a qualified do-or-die race.
Oulanyah had fought tooth and nail for the job, having tried to disrupt the status quo five years earlier, but was told to wait in line.
Patiently he waited and the time came in 2021 when he finally stepped down as vice president in the light of the cameras.
Oulanyah handed over the official car, cleared his office which had been warming his back since 2011.
In his address, Oulanyah said, “I will not return to this office; I don’t want to insist on that and sit here as if I were the vice-president. I will not come back here”. It was five days before he became a speaker.
Oulanyah had had a great admiration for the office of president, and one could tell with what passion he exercised his role as deputy.
Indeed, in his own words, he said, “I was able to do things that I love”.
True to its brand, we would not separate Oulanyah from flamboyance. He has always sought to distinguish himself from others, choosing to be too punctual, unlike his predecessors or even parliamentarians.
In the show of flamboyance, Oulanyah arrived on May 8, 2020 at Parliament on a motorbike.
Dressed in a thick jacket, helmet check, gloves and biker boots, Oulanyah entered the premises of Parliament as if he were in a movie scene.
He jumped off the bike with the satisfaction of having charmed the viewers, and made his way to the cameras and microphones waiting for him, and he said: “I was sandwiched by two lorries. Wandegeya, I was in the middle of them, the truck bodies almost hit my bike, just like that!” he narrated with action-packed gestures.
He then declared that such a scenario was a lesson to be defended for road safety.
“If they could make the roads safer, a lot of people would use bikes, even bikes.”
The man had done her charm and had in fact left parliament paralyzed, that at one of the intervals Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa waved her down and acted as if she needed to be lifted.
There was a better argument that Oulanyah jumped on the bike to catch up, as many know him to be extra careful.
In one of the interviews on September 15, 2019, when asked what makes him a better person at his job, Oulanyah joked, “Time.”
“When we don’t keep time, we’re disrespecting the other people we’ve engaged with and spilling things over when they shouldn’t,” he said.
However, how he managed to play ticking all the boxes of his work and showing his class on one side remained an enigma to many while at the same time making the charming Jacob he always was.
Many might not know what music was deep for him, damn you can’t guess on that, but Oulanyah took a few occasions to express that no music is better than jazz music.
During one of the speeches abroad, Oulanyah stunned the audience when he said, “This assembly is like jazz.”
They say that jazz is the rhythm closest to religion, and indeed Oulanyah has never hidden his love for God and religion. In many of his speeches, one could tell that he had chosen the Bible and different religious literatures.
About five times he would start his speech with his favorite quote.
“Today is the day the Lord has chosen, and I will celebrate it with all of you.”
His love for God was most likely the basis of his undying love for humanity, for preaching about ubuntu, forgiveness and unity.
At the International Young Leaders Assembly in Washington DC on October 6, 2016, Oulanyah preached humanity.
“Our world is one, our problems are similar, and the mass of water that separates us is no deeper than the blood that binds us together as human beings, one people under God.”
Also after returning from his first spell of illness abroad, Oulanyah appealed to Ugandans for humanity.
“People say prayers for the sick, others say prayers for the sick to die in this country, really and you leave your house your wife prepares you breakfast! And you leave for Oulanyah, he is on oxygen, he’s dying… Let’s get back to humanity, it helps.”
Always in line with humanity, as soon as Oulanyah took office as President, he opened the doors of his office to anyone without the need for an appointment.
On May 25, 2021, Oulanyah publicly stated, “No one needs an appointment to come to my office, just walk in, knock on the door and open and I’ll see you.”
Meanwhile, on August 22, 2018, while visiting Bobi Wine following the Arua debacle in which the singer was ‘beaten properly’ and detained at Makindye Barracks, Oulanyah put on a sad face. and said in his speech:
“This country is enough for all of us.”
He was a man of many faces and principles and ethics are some of them. For Oulanyah, something was right or wrong, and he never wore glasses to hide the glasses.
He told deputies who had turned the house into a crying center, asking where he was when he was sick that he was so bothered when the same deputies never came out to ask where he was when he was banned from welcome the plenary by his boss. Rebecca Kadaga.
He then dismissed them as non-issue dealers.
“Let’s stick to the standards and the principles,” he said on July 29, 2021 in response to MPs who had turned the plenary into a media outlet asking where he was.
For a man who had coveted to be the speaker but sometimes got sent back to the queue and told to wait, there’s just one thing you can’t take away from him: the hope.
Oulanyah practiced hope as much as he preached it. Many times calling on leaders to be the beacon of hope for others.
“The world is looking for hope, we are that hope and we must behave as if we are. We are the candle of hope as young leaders, choose what remains and light up the world, let’s give him hope. My story and your story is a story of hope, God bless you,” he said in October 2016.
During his first sitting as Speaker on August 24, 2021, Oulanyah called on MPs to use their time in the House to bring hope to Ugandan children.
“Many of you went to kindergarten, we never did, school was so far away, we had to mature first. Children who are in this situation should be our priority”, did he declare.
Alongside hope, Oulanyah preached the gospel of moral righteousness, he could not hide his hatred of pretense and his distaste for the corrupt.
“The corrupt are our grandparents, the society we live in, we are all corrupt. Unless we take this from our own front lines, it’s a waste of time, it’s a public spectacle for nothing, basically I know we are going to go back to practicing the same corruption that we are fighting,” he said during the anti-corruption march in 2019.
“We are leaving in a state of moral disengagement where we have a justification to do all the wrong things, but we know better,” he said, speaking to young people in Washington.
It’s hardly impossible to say that Oulanyah had won his greatest fight when he stepped into the speaker’s chair, for a man of his size, for a man of his background, he had been in all sorts of important battles, all kinds of struggles, and continued to even in the dying embers of his life here.
Ulanyah’s battles were dignified, refusing to confuse or use any form of violence, they were meticulously planned and clothed in determination, just as he said: “An opportunity of a lifetime must be cut short for the duration of this opportunity.”
Oulanyah loved himself a good day to talk and when he started talking he was possessed by the words and they fell like thunder he wouldn’t stop talking his only excuse being that it would be inappropriate to put a time limit on important speeches.
“There is never enough time to discuss important topics. If I had known that I was going to be timed by a clock, I would not have come all the way to talk for 3 minutes. It did not no sense,” Oulanyah told a rally. in the United States in 2016.
We can talk again and again about those who are loved, but generations must come and go, in his own words Oulanyah said that we only borrowed this world from the future generation, which meant that it was at peace with the fact that we are all here for a little while.
So I’ll borrow one of his quotes from May 19, 2021 when he told the media, “The time is over.”