The late Speaker Rt Hon. Jacob Oulanyah has been eulogized as ‘a rare species’ of politician who meticulously served his country with utmost professionalism and integrity.
Since Tuesday, 22 March 2022, several dignitaries including members of the diplomatic corps, Members of Parliament and other political leaders continue to access Parliament in order to sign the condolence book to pay their last respects to the fallen speaker.
Oulanyah died on Sunday, 20 March 2022 in Seattle, U.S where he was receiving treatment. His candle burned out just three days to his 57th birthday.
European Union Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Attilio Pacifici eulogized Oulanyah as a leader who earned a lot of respect for his admirable works and visionary leadership.
“On behalf of the European Union, I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family, the Ugandan authorities and the people of Uganda for the loss of hon. Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.
We met several times with Hon. Oulanyah, engaged him and deeply respected him, his work and vision. We are deeply saddened by his passing away,” Pacifici said.
Ambassador of the State of Eritrea, H.E Mohammed Suleiman Ahmed described Oulanyah’s demise as “a tragic event” and “a great loss” whereas the Ambassador of Ireland, H.E Kevin Colgan eulogized him as “a great man.”
“We are deeply sorry to hear the news of the passing on of a great man Rt Hon. Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah.
Our deepest sympathy to his family and friends, colleagues and the government and people of Uganda,” Colgan said.
“In the name of my countrymen and in my own name, I want to express my deepest condolence at the passing of Rt Hon. Speaker Jacob Oulanyah L’Okori. Uganda lost a great Speaker and I lost a friend,” reads the message from H.E Rudi Veestraeten, the Ambassador of Belgium.
Dr. Roswitha Kremser, Head of Austrian Development Cooperation in Uganda, said Oulanyah’s death will be felt in Uganda and beyond.
“Let me express my deepest condolences for the loss of an important son of this beautiful country on my own behalf and on behalf of the Republic of Austria. The disappearance of hon. Speaker Jacob Oulanyah will be felt in Uganda and beyond,” she said.
H.E. Tania Perez Xiques, the Ambassador of Cuba lauded Oulanyah for being instrumental in steering bilateral projects in Uganda and Cuba.
“It is unfair that Hon. Oulanyah is not among us. He was a good friend of Cuba and an enthusiastic leader. Many bilateral projects were born during his short leadership. We will honour his memory. Thanks for everything that he did,” Xiques said in her message.
The Italian Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Massimiliano Mazzanti eulogized Oulanyah as a great icon of Uganda and further described him as a leader of “vision, tolerance and wisdom.”
In his condolence message, the German Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Matthias Schauer, recalled his moment with Oulanyah when they chit-chatted about their hobby in motorcycling.
“On behalf of Germany Embassy, staff and on my own behalf, let me express my heartfelt condolences on the passing of the Rt Hon. Jacob Oulanyah. We met in Gulu shortly after my arrival in 2020 and shared our love for motorcycles. He will be remembered for his fairness and openness and loyalty,” Schauer said.
Oulanyah’s love for bikes was manifested when he rode to Parliament in May 2020 to the surprise of the public.
Other heads of the diplomatic missions who signed the condolences book include; H.E Ali Mohamed Mohamud (Somalia), H.E Robert Ring (South Sudan), H.E Maria Håkansson (Sweden), H.E Joost van Ettro (Netherlands), H.E Renovat Nimbona (Burundi), H.E. Alemtsehay Meseret Gelaw (Ethiopia) and H.E Joseph Rutabana (Rwanda) among others.
The condolence book will remain open until Friday, 25 March 2022.