Lira – Defecting one political party to another in Uganda is not a new practice but a painful decision to the members of the vetoed party.
It’s always a normal practice especially when elections is nearing – “with some opportunists and moles in the opposition crossing to ruling party,” a member of FDC party in Lira, who asked not to be named, said.
His thinking follows a letter of request written by Isaac Opio Opeo, to National Resistance Movement [NRM] party national chairperson, Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to welcome him inside the “yellow bus”.
Mr Opeo who has been FDC Youth Secretary General, campaigning for Kizza Besigye in previous elections, in his letter to NRM national chairman dated 10, March, 2020 and copied to nobody, started by introducing himself to Mr Museveni – his next boss.
“I am a Ugandan aged thirty nine years old, from the above address. I am a university graduate from Makerere University from the faculty of political science and a former FDC Youth Secretary General, Uganda Chapter.”
Explaining his detailed intention to join NRM party, Mr Opio wrote in his letter, verbatim, we quote: “I have seen and weighed the future of being in a position and realized that most of the opposition figures are gross liars, opportunists, inexperienced, emotionally unstable (not mature) and realized that we cannot trust the future of Ugandans to such elements which can degenerate the country into the dark days of dictator Iddi Amin Dada compared to the experienced, exposed, emotionally matured, clear-headed, carefully well thought plans, strategies, Vision 2040, etc., which has clearly been manifested in terms of UPC, USE, Vocational/Technical Institutes, infrastructural development in terms of roads networks, Standard Gauge Railway, peace and security courtesy of UPCF, minerals, oil and gas, exploration, PAF, NURP, NUSAF, NAADS, OPW, Women empowerment, water for all, and Rural Electrification, generally pace in northern Uganda, LRA war, Karimojong cattle rustling and Lakwena war are now history courtesy of UPDF under the command of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and technical staff.”
According to a determined Opeo, he added: “Owing to the above facts, I therefore feel Ugandans should rally behind NRM and President Museveni to consolidate on the gains and achievements of the liberation struggle, preaching solidarity in terms of peace and security, economic development, education reforms, infrastructure development, agriculture, etc.”
Mr Opeo promises Museveni and his party, adding, “I therefore come with value addition via skills, knowledge, ability gained from opposition politics to strengthen NRM mass party using the skills of campaigns, and electioneering, membership recruitment and retention, media relation, mobilisation, sensitization of the masses, wooing the opposition youth, women, and elders to support NRM.”
To Opeo, the purpose of his letter to NRM top leader, Mr Museveni is to “indicate his intention to work with NRM in mobilising the masses in the forthcoming 2021 elections so that to garner massive support for NRM and president Museveni.”
He has also told NRN national chairperson he doesn’t want to be received and welcomed into the party by any other person, but except President Museveni, further promising to woo FDC, UPC and DP members into NRM.
Speaking to TND News on Thursday afternoon, regarding Mr Opeo’s intention to join NRM party, Jacob Ocen – who’s the publicity secretary for Lira district says Opeo is one of the many opposition supporters he has been courting to join ruling government.
Mr Ocen who spoke with delight, added whereas the former FDC leader has directly written to President Museveni, “his defection news” is everywhere.
According to Ocen, he has been telling “new recruit” to trust that while belonging to any political party you should know it’s aiming at taking power, adding that “you don’t support a party without such ambition”.
Among opposition party Ocen claims is not aiming higher, and don’t have the capacities to capture power is, Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] party whose founder he remembers has been contesting for presidency for the last 20 years.
“Besigye has been contesting for the last 20 years, doing the same thing expecting different results. It has made Besigye unable, or FDC unable; the same to UPC.”
He also reveals that the current NRM membership registration in Lira district has seen opposition supporters defecting to the NRM, and being given yellow cards. He, however, didn’t issue the current data, to back his statement.
By press time, FDC party chairperson for Lira district, Mr Bonny Otyama Gongson couldn’t be available for comments, as repeated calls on his phone numbers went unanswered.