The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, has asked government and private telecommunication firms to connect infrastructure services to Wipolo Martyrs Shrine.
Wipolo Martyrs Shrine is in Gulu Archdiocese and is located in Paimol, Agago district.
Oulanyah was speaking during the Centenary celebrations of the blessed Martyrs, Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa, which were held in Wipolo Martyrs Shrine on 20 October, 2018.
Both Okelo and Irwa were speared to death outside their hut after they refused to abandon teaching of religion in October 1918. Pope Francis IV announced 20 October as the commemoration day of the two Martyrs during his visit to Uganda in November 2015.
Oulanyah requested telecommunication companies including; MTN, UTL and Airtel to extend services to the Shrine to facilitate live streaming of the event so that the whole world is connected and gets real time updates of proceedings.
“A place like this needs to be serviced with proper network. Telecommunication companies should ensure that there is a mast in this place. This should happen during the next celebrations,” said Oulanyah.
Oulanyah, who was representing President Yoweri Museveni as the Chief Pilgrim, delivered the President’s contribution of shs100m towards the expansion of the shrine.
“The President sent the money to support you in your operations and activities to make this place,” Oulanyah said.
He added that the President had directed Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to tarmac the road that leads to Wipolo shrine, to ease access by pilgrims.
“The President has promised that in the next one year, the road from the main road to the shrine will be tarmacked so that the pilgrims are not affected by dust as they travel,” he said.
The main celebrant of the Holy Mass, Bishop Linos Wanok of Nebbi Diocese called for unity in the country, which he said can be attained through renewal of faith and courage among Christians. He said that Uganda is facing political and social turmoil because of the absence of unity.
“The only focus that can make us right is the faith in Jesus Christ. Only with faith can humanity become one; without God, humanity is doomed to self-destruction,” said Wanok.
Bishop Wanok applauded youths for their commitment towards Christianity. He said that they have emulated the two martyrs whose courage and faith at a young age threatened the elders in Acholi.
“Today we are seeing youths who have moved in thousands from all over the world to this shrine to express and confess their faith and to shun any fear of faith for a whole week. They accepted to be washed by the rain here, proclaiming their courage in Christ,” said Bishop Wanok.
This year’s celebrations were also attended by the Deputy Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo; Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon. Betty Aol Ochan; the Secretary General of the National Resistance Movement Party, Justine Kasule Lumumba, as well as Members of Parliament from Acholi sub region.
The event attracted thousands of pilgrims from all over the world including America, Russia, Europe as well as East Africa and different parts of Uganda.