Recollecting Ibrahim Abiriga’s statements in Parliament

Recollecting Ibrahim Abiriga's statements in Parliament
Slain Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga Yusuf Abdulla

The candle of Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga has burnt out. Abiriga met his death on Friday evening together with his body guard Lt. Kongo Saidi at the hands of brutal assassins.

The two were driving in Abiriga’s yellow beetle to the legislator’s home when they were ambushed by two assailants riding a motorcycle near Energo Fuel Station in Kawanda along Kampala-Gulu highway.

The assailants sprayed Abiriga’s vehicle with bullets killing him and Saidi instantly. On Sunday morning, parliament convened in a special session to pay tribute to Abiriga before his body is airlifted to his ancestral home in Arua for burial on Monday.

Some of the statements made by Abiriga were replayed in the house as captured by the Hansard, the official record of parliament. This publication captured some of the statements made by the former NRM enthusiast on the floor of the house for the two years he was an MP.

One of his statements was in response to the update given by the Relief and Disaster Preparedness Minister on flooding in the country. The late Abiriga threw his weight behind the minister and asked parliament to give the ministry sufficient funding.

The late Abiriga also put up a spirited fight when a woman he allegedly fathered with a child accused him of not paying school fees for their child. He said the matters of the family should be left for police to investigate.

In another statement, Abiriga tasked the Defense and Veterans Affairs Minister to clarify to parliament the exact amount of money the ministry was paying ex-service men, saying he had received conflicting reports.

He also faulted the army representatives in parliament for failing to speak about issues affecting the force, saying they have left UPDF issues to the minister.

Information on the official website of parliament shows that Abiriga was born on May 06th 1956. He has been a legislator and serving on the Committee of Defense and Internal Affairs. He holds a Certificate in Administrative Law from Uganda Christian University and Certificate in Public Administration from the same institution issued in 2008 and 2015 respectively.

Abiriga also has a Certificate in Public Administration and Management from Makerere University issued in 2015. Abiriga served as the Resident District Commissioner for Arua for 12 years from 2001 before he was transferred to Yumbe. He resigned from the post to contest for a parliamentary seat, which he won in February 2016.

His election was contested by his main challenger, Musema Mudathir Bruce, a member of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change, saying Abiriga lacked the requisite academic documents. His challengers have maintained that Abiriga lacks the advanced level education certificate, the minimum education requirement for anyone contesting for a parliamentary seat.