Minister defends police presence at Arua church

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Arua. The Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Mr Mario Obiga Kania, has defended the continued police deployment at Bishop Sabino Ocan Odoki’s residence and Ediofe Cathedral, saying the Force is there to restore peace and order.
He was speaking during an ordination ceremony of five priests and six deacons by Bishop Odoki at Ediofe Cathedral, the Arua Diocese headquarters at the weekend.

“These people [police] are here to see that we solve our own problems and once this is solved, they will be removed. You ask yourself why they are not deployed at Otumbari or Christ the King or somewhere else,” he said.
Mr Kania’s remarks come after Christians of Ediofe went on riot on September 22, last year burning a temporary shelter at the church and other valuable church records.

Accusations
They accused Bishop Odoki of neglecting the late Bishop Emeritus Fredrick Drandua when he was sick, maladministration and sideling critical voices of his administration.
However, the bishop denies the accusations, saying those going after him want the wealth of the diocese and are biased towards him.
Mr Kania expressed optimism about Christians and the religious leaders’ willingness to resolve outstanding grievances amicably.
“We don’t appoint priests and bishops. The Church has its own system and official structures that are followed. None of us here can make a bishop because our hands are dirty. If you can’t manage anything, just pray, what we want is unity, last year was a shame for Arua,” Mr Kania said.

The continued presence of the police and other security agencies around the cathedral has also raised concern among the locals who accuse them of brutality and turning the residence into a barracks.
The chairperson of Maracha Ewanyapa village, Mr Stephen Buga, during a burial ceremony early this month at Ediofe appealed to the police to treat the locals humanly and stop brutalising them.
But Kania accused residents of provoking the police by hulling insults at them as they walk to their homes behind the cathedral. The road had since been blocked, infuriating the locals the more.

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