Following the conclusion of Forum for Democratic Change’s (FDC) Presidential campaigns in Teso, the Party’s Presidential flag bearer has today complained about lack of ample time to traverse the country.
Addressing a campaign meeting at Kaberamaido on Friday, Patrick Oboi Amuriat or POA, as he is affectionately known, bashed the Electoral Commission decision to trim the campaign time frame to two months.
At a press conference held on November 4, 2020, it should be noted that the EC Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama announced that campaigns for the top most position would commence on November 9 2020 and end on January 12, 2021.
However, speaking yesterday, Amuriat said that deviating from the normal six months had impeded efforts to reach every corner of the 146 districts that comprise Uganda.
For one, Amuriat explained that this crush programme had forced him to skip a number of areas within Teso’s nine districts, something that could take a toll on him come the January 2021 general election.
“You will bear with me, we will try to see how to cover parts of Kaberamaido that we have not covered if time allows. But what is important is the work that you do as leaders. For me I have come here as your Presidential Flag bearer but what stays behind is very important,” he regretted.
Amuriat, who had been expected to complete his Teso Regional Tour prior to visiting Lango, had by Friday not covered Kaberamaido yet due to a number of encumbrances.
Whereas to a large extent he was warmly welcomed by his Kinsmen, his team and supporters were first tear gassed in Soroti City. This was after adherents attempted to protest Police’s last minute cancellation of Soroti Sports Ground, a venue that was supposed to host POA’s grand Homecoming.
The following day, Police was forced to use minimal force to disperse FDC supporters who were hell bent on escorting their leaders out of Ngora town at about 7:30 PM.
Commenting on these incidents, Ronald Kaginda, the FDC National Field Coordinator intimated that this was among the many scare crow tactics they have endured for the last sixteen years.
“They are trying to show the public that may be as a Party, we are not supposed to reach out to people. They are scaring our people and as my President has said; since 2001 we have been going through such situations,” Kaginda retorted.
What the Teso area electorate says;
Unlike other campaigns, the Party still hopes that their message that is anchored on two fundamental points regarding delayed compensation of cows that were rustled and families that were devastated by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency.
From cosmopolitan centers to far flung villages such as Kalungulu in Serere, the reception has largely been positive save for a few scattered incidents.
At Obalanga trading center in Kapelebyong District, a one Time Benya, who is a local soccer coach told ChimpReports that whereas he belongs to the National Resistance Movement (NRM), he wants to use his vote to send a message.
“We have decided to vote our own. Because there are services that we lack, for instance; roads here are not in good conditions. Museveni’s Government wouldn’t be bad but it lies a lot. For instance, we were promised to be compensated for our lost cattle but till today, nothing has happened. Secondly Amuriat is a son of the soil, we can’t abandon our own,” Benya elaborated.
At Kalaki trading center where Lt. Gen Peter Elwelu hails from, residents wore forlorn faces as the FDC convoy passed by while at Otuboi, it took police intervention to quell an imminent brawl between NRM and FDC supporters.
Samuel Mwebesa, the In charge of Police Operations Kalaki, refrained from speaking on the matter but a local who only identified himself as Okello disclosed that residents might be afraid of backlash once they broadly associate with the formation.
All said and done, it is understood that FDC has also assembled a cohort of Parliamentary candidates whom it believes will popularize the Party at grass root level.
Notably, these include Anne Adeke Ebaju, Florence Ibi Ekwau, Charles Okure and Elasu Edmund among many others.
These are competing for the positions of Soroti Woman MP, Kaberamaido Woman MP, Ngariam County and Soroti City West respectively.
Apparently, FDC has already started traversing Lango region having started with Dokolo yesterday.
Today November 14, 2020; Patrick Amuriat is expected in Otuke, Lira and Kole districts.