Lira—21, August 2020: The National Resistance Movement (NRM) party polls for its Central Executive Committee (CEC) leaders ended on Thursday.
By evening, preliminary results showed early victories for some new entrants and incumbents.
Up to the polling day, especially in northern Uganda, there was a stiff contest between Hon Sam Engola (also the Lira district NRM Chairperson) and Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah—Deputy Speaker of Parliament. The latter is also the Omoro County MP.
Mr Engola has been a CEC member for over two terms, and in 2015, NRM National Chairman Museveni requested Mr Oulanyah to allow Mr Engola to continue.
In that election, Oulanyah was seeing victories, but he obeyed Museveni’s plea to step down for the outgoing regional chair, who, also by that time, was the Erute South MP—Lira district.
Having asked that Hon. Engola be given ‘more term’ from 2015, sources who spoke to this digital publication seven months ago opined to us that the National Chairman, Museveni, had endorsed Jacob Oulanyah as the next Northern Uganda NRM vice Chairperson.
In his open letter months ago on “Why I seek election as NRM Vice Chairperson Northern Uganda,” Jacob Oulanyah said one of his biggest focus will be on “unity, consolidating regional unity to promote equitable socio-economic transformation”.
“I will also put emphasis on strategically mobilising citizens to build the strength of the NRM and instil loyalty in its membership,” he added, then.
Now, in a poll results seen by TND News, Jacob Oulanyah polled 7,473 votes compared to Sam Engola’s1,665 votes.
Other aspirants got 277 and 995 votes, respectively.
NRM spokesperson speaks out
Speaking to TND News on Friday afternoon, Jacob Ocen who’s the Lira district NRM spokesperson says it was clear that Oulanyah would be elected a new regional chair.
Mr Ocen further says Egola had lost the delegates’ trust and was working for himself, leaving the party members aside.
“Jacob was talking (campaigning) for what should be done and what he would do for the party. Some (Engola) for a campaign with an empty head and wanted to be re (elected),” he added.
The Lira district NRM spokesperson also says CEC needs those who are intelligent because they are people who run the government.
According to Ocen, incumbent regional chairpersons like Engola Sam refused to follow up a promise made by the national chairman’s promise to donate bicycles to LC1 chairpersons, motorcycles to LC3 chairpersons and vehicles to district LC5 chairpersons.
“It was easy for Jacob Oulanyah to do this. He followed up this promise and the national chairman had to buy bicycles for local council leaders. Most delegates say he pressured the President, and that’s why he (Oulanyah) was elected,” he added.