By: Joseph Okumu
The actual killing of Daudi and Jildo
The years of 1916 and 1917 went down the annals of the missionaries as a difficult and trying period in the evangelisation history of Acoli land. Smallpox and famine broke out and the local population took to superstitious remedies. The catechists came in strongly with the proclamation of the good news of salvation, right up at the very administrative center of Paimol.
Apprehensively, people began to ask the diviners to explain the cause for the small pox and for the famine. The diviners, many of whose clients were converting to the new religion, at once found faults with the religion of munu karatum meaning the Italian missionaries from Verona were known and with the people who preached it, namely the catechists. At about this time, Paimol’s chief Lakidi was deposed and incarcerated for a time in Kitgum. He patiently served his short prison term.
After his release, again Amet imposed over the Paimol people by the colonial administration, as vice-chief, accused Lakidi of plotting against the local colonial administration in Kitgum. This time Lakidi did not take it lying down. He fled to the jungle where he met the rebels adwi Abas and others. There in the jungle a plot to resolve their political aims and to put an end to the new religion was hatched. The execution of their plot was planned and carried out in details, each group knowing precisely which place and which person to attack. In fact, one group went to attack the village of Amet, a second group to attack and kill sub chief Bongi and the third group to kill the two catechists.
In order to kill the catechists it was necessary to have someone who knew them well. Opio Akadamoi, Ibrahim Okedi, Odong and another Ibrahim, all people from Ogal’s village, were selected for the task. It was the weekend of 19-21 October 1918. The catechists, after reciting the evening rosary with the catechumens, were asleep in their hut.
The party set off long before dawn, at the second cockcrow according to African chronology. In a few hours the catechists and catechumens would wake up at the sound of the drumbeat for morning prayers. But this morning they would unexpectedly wake up at wiPolo, in heaven, our future place, as the two catechists had been teaching.
On reaching the village of the sub chief Ogal, the assailants moved towards their hut., Ocok Mukomoi, Ogal’s brother and the catechists’ neighbor, must have been woken up by the attackers footsteps and voices. He went outside his hut and addressed the intruders asking them what they wanted.
When he realised that they were murderers who had come for Daudi and Jildo, he entered into a heated argument with them in defense of the two catechists. Okedi Ibrahim and Opio Akadamoi ignored him. In the meantime Daudi, realising what was going on, came out of his hut and kindly asked Ocok Mukomoi to let those people carry out what they had come to do.
Seeing that the assailants did not want to listen to him, Ocok made a sign to Daudi to run away, while continuing to plead with the men to respect the symbolic gesture of respect for life accorded to the catechists when they ate food and drank water from Ogal’s house. “Do not kill them here in my place for they have already eaten and drunk here. Kill them outside, if you must.” As Daudi did not run away, the killers grabbed him and led him outside the village compound. Then Okedi Ibrahim dealt him a mortal blow with his spear.
On realising what had happened to Daudi, Jildo also came out of the hut and asked the killers to kill him as well since he too had been teaching religion together with Daudi. “If you killed him because he taught religion, kill me also, because I also taught religion with him”. They, then, dragged him away and Opio Akadamoi struck him dead with his spear”.