Leaders from the eight districts of Acholi on Thursday held a joint council meeting to pay tribute to the late Deputy Inspector of General of Police, Maj. Gen. Paul Lokech is ahead of his burial on Friday.
Gen. Lokech died on Saturday 21 August 2021 from his residence in Kiira Municipality, Wakiso District.
Lokech, 55, is regarded as one of the high-ranking military officers of all time that ever emerged from the Acholi sub-region.
Col Benson Olanya, the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) Coordinator in Amuru said
the deceased was a well-trained soldier in big guns, who has done a good job in operation against LRA in Uganda and South Sudan.
To Godfrey Oceng Osborn, the Resident District Commissioner of Amuru, Gen. Lokech was a true reflection of a professional soldier and the best army officer Acholi had got in recent time.
Emmanuel Lapyem, the Male Councilor for Labongo Layamo Sub-County in Kitgum described the death of Gen. Lokech as one of the most heart-breaking obituaries in Acholi, adding that he was such an icon to reckon with.
Gulu West Division Mayor, Patrick Oola Lumumba regrets that the passing on of Gen. Lokech has robbed the Acholi region of a high-profile personality with a brave identity in the current regime who could still have served longer in Government.
Maj. Gen. Lokech worked diligently and he was committed to the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).
He will be remembered for his brave approach that helped a contingent of Uganda People’s Defense Forces – UPDF under African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), an AU-led peacekeeping mission to flash out militant Al-Shabaab.
Gen. Lokech also fought armed militias like Allied Democratic Force – ADF in DR Congo and Lord’s Resistance Army – LRA rebels in Northern Uganda.
Across northern Uganda, Gen. Lokech commanded respect in Acholi and created positive imaginations among the local people and leaders due to his humility.
Gen. Lokech’s other predecessors from the region included Maj. Gen. Julius Facki Oketta died on 5 November 2016. Before his death, he was the Director of National Emergency Coordination and Operations in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Col. Walter Ochora Odoch, who died on 3 Mar 2011 was another military icon from the region who was a politician, a farmer and a businessman. He served as Gulu District Resident Commissioner and later was elected LCV Chairperson. Pierino Yere Okoya was gunned down on the night of January 25, 1970.
The others are Lieutenant-Colonel Erinayo Oryema who began his career in the military before crossing to the police.
He rose to the very top of the Police hierarchy by 1971 before Iddi Amin masterminded his killing on the evening of February 16, 1977.
Gen. Tito Okello Lutwa, a laid-back character with inadequate formal education. He rose through the ranks to head the army and accepted to be the military leader when soldiers staged a coup. He lost power, ran into exile nine years later and died at 86, on June 3, 1996.
Lt-Gen. Bazilio Olara Okello, just like Tito, beat the odds to rise through the ranks. At the time of the 1985 coup, he was a Brigadier and commander of the Northern Brigade and was later promoted to Lieutenant-General and head of the army. When the government fell, he ran into exile in Sudan where he died on January 9, 1990. Initially buried in Khartoum, his remains were repatriated back home in 2015.
Major Alfred Otto, the commander of the Air Force who died in a helicopter crash in Luweero in December 1983.