The community of Bolo clan in Puranga Chiefdom entered 2020 celebrating the reunion of their very own, Lt. Gen. Charles Otema Awany and NRM Party Sec. Gen. Richard Too-Dwong.
The two were received on Saturday 22nd February 2020 with Acholi royal traditional dance, Bwala “as they made their first appearance in the ancestral land their grandfather vacated during colonial rule for his dear live.
PADER-UGANDA: After two generations of calling Nwoya their ancestral home, Uganda People’s Defence Forces – UPDF’s reserve forces commander Gen. Otema Awany and younger brother Richard Too-Dwong, the National Resistance Movement– NRM’s Deputy Secretary General on Saturday 22nd February traced their roots to Bolo Lamac, a clan in Puranga, Pader district.
The duos’ great grandfather after Obura Latoka, fled Puranga to the chief of Payira clan after killing an Arab slave trader. For safety reasons, the chief of Payira handed him over to the chief of Patiko who then requested the chief Koch to offer him political asylum away from the marauding Arab traders. Obura’s family for the next generations settled in Koch, present day Nwoya district were they have lived since.
The two brothers and some relatives representing the Obura Latoka’s linage entered Puranga from Awere bridge along the river Aswa were received with tight embrace by Lacen, the chief of Bolo Lamac and Ojok Peter Ogaba, the chief of Bolo Pakena amidst ululations and tradional dances to celebrate their homecoming.
The family before proceeding to the be recieved by the two chiefs laid wraths on the graves of their uncle, Lacen Martin who was killed by the Lords Resistance Rebels in Bar Dyang two kilometers from Lagile while promising to build a monument in memory of his uncle and pledged to build a technical institute in Bolo and also promised to donate one hundred bags of cement and one hundred iron sheets to help in the completion of the local church.
Gen. Otema while addressing the people of Bolo assured them that their coming back home was neither political nor economical.
“We are here not to grab land, of for political reason, we are back home.” He assured them
At Bolo Kwera Primary school were the main celebrations was going on, the General offered to support a community SACCO with ten million shillings as their start-up promising also to support children in school at different levels of studies.
He introduced and thanked the people of Palami who occupies present day Purongo, Anaka and Koch Sub-counties, whose people offered protection to their great grandfather referring to them as his brothers and sisters. He made known of other relatives in Bungatira and Angagura sub-counties in Gulu and Pader districts.
Richard Todwong, told the people that Ojok Awany, his father before passing on in July 2019, told them to return to their ancestral home in Bolo.
Rwot Lacen of Bolo Lamac clan welcomed the ancestors of Obura Latoka assuring them of their welcome saying their coming will develope Bolo community in many ways.
Rwot Ojok Peter Ogaba of Bolo P’Kena clan expressed great attitude, says the re-union is a big push for the development of Puranga arguing Gen. Otema to bring with him more affirmative action plans.
“Let us join hand to eradicate poverty and the mindset syndrome, treat us equally.” Rwot Ojok argued.
Present at the ceremony were Okot Araa, former Commissioner of Uganda Police, Gulu district commercial officer, Omoro woman member of parliament Catherine Lamwaka, Tom Ojwee, former police commander, Lamony Joe, a prominent businessman in Gulu, Alan Kinyera regional bank manger DFCU, Aligech George Lapir, chairman Gulu Municipal Development Forum, the chief of Amach Lango Pate from Lango, Brother George Olam, Vicky Laker Odong and many others.
Who is Obura Latoka
Obura Latoka, was born to Owiny Chamoi of Bolo Lamac in the early mid 1800 growing up as a young boy in present day Puranga in Pader district.
Growing up as a strong agile young man, he was appointed as one of the army commander because of his military skills which he gleaned during raids to secure young girls for Rwot Awich of Payira.
Skills which would one day put him in trouble with the Arab slave traders.
Tales would have it that Latoka’s troubles with the Arabs started when he came back form one of his raids to find his sister who used to supply milk to an Arab camp had been missing for two days after going to deliver milk to the Arab camp. He was told that one of the Arabs decided to keep her as a wife against her wish something which pained Latoka
Latoka on hearing that went on an undercover surveillance mission driving his animals purportedly looking for greener pasture near the Arab camp. While on his mission he chanced on the Arab who rapped his sister killing him.
The incident was reported to Rwot Awich, but since Latoka was one of his trusted General, instead of handing him over to the Arabs, he decided to take him to the chief of Patiko who kept him away from the Arabs eventually handing him over to the chief of Koch settling their with his seven women till his death.
Because of taking many wives from different clans and his brothers who also later fled to other parts of Lango, the Bolo clan members are scattered all over Northern Uganda with a majority living in Awere, Rackoko, Puranga, Pajule, Patongo, Parabongo, Lakwana, Lalogi and Amac in Lango, Patek in Oyam, Bolo Palami in Anaka and Purongo
The name Bolo derives from the word Obolo, a local tree common in Acholi land.
According to legends passed in folklores, it is said that one day an expectant mother was coming from the Well, and started experiencing labor pain midway. So, instead of enduring with the pain, she began to talk to herself louder thus “who is going to nurse me in my labor pain.” When suddenly a word came from the nearby Obolo tree, responding to her saying “Come and take shelter under the Obolo tree”, a tree under which she bore a baby boy whom she named Bolo