Age Limit: MP Cecilia Ogwal hospitalized after inhaling teargas

Age limit: MP Cecilia Ogwal hospitalized after inhaling teargas
Cecilia Ogwal being helped after she collapsed. Courtesy Photo.

Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal collapsed and has been rushed to hospital for emergency treatment after inhaling teargas fired by the police in Lira yesterday.

The police fired teargas and live bullets to disperse a crowd at a consultative meeting organized by the Lira Woman MP, Joy Atim Ongom.

Ongom convened the meeting at Adyel division headquarters playground this afternoon to consult residents on the ‘age limit’ amendment bill currently before the committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. All was well until other legislators arrived for the consultative meeting led by Cecilia Ogwal.

Others were Charles Angiro Gutumoi, the Erute North MP, Jonathan Odur (Erute South) and their Dokolo county counterpart, Felix Okot Ogong.

The MPs moved and joined Ongom on the stage. The arrival of the legislators caught police unawares. The officers acted in panic and started firing teargas and live bullets to disperse the crowd, forcing the residents to run for dear life.

Ogwal fainted and was rushed to Lira medical center for treatment. More than 1,000 residents had already signed a petition, saying no to the proposed scrapping of article 102 (b) of the constitution, which caps the president’s age at 75 years.

The MPs had drawn up a plan that would take them through the eight districts in Lango region. They were scheduled to meet Lira district leaders between 9am. and 12pm on Tuesday and hold a public rally at 2p.m.

The same team would head to Dokolo district on Wednesday October 25 followed by another consultation meeting in Otuke on Thursday, October 26, Oyam on Friday, October 27, Kole on Saturday, October 28 and Erute South on Sunday, October 29.

However, John Peter Ematu, the North Kyoga regional police commander, said they had received instructions from the Inspector General of Police to block the joint consultations.

He said only the Lira woman MP Joy Atim Ongom would be allowed to proceed with consultations in the district.