- “Me, I am young, only 23 years and I don’t want my head to be fixed in their fights. Let them fight on who is younger or older than the other, me I will campaign,” Mr Obal says.
- To very close to Abdul George said their candidate had not given up on the youth MP race even when many believe he could be too old for the position.
- In an exclusive interview with TND News Frank Oyugi months ago, Abdul said: “count me in.”
Lira—30, December 2020: The political climate in Northern Uganda is boiling up as Youth MP Candidates ponder their starting point with active campaigns now on.
Three candidates were duly nominated by the electoral commission (EC) for the Youth MP race.
Candidates include Mr Boniface Okot (the NRM flag bearer), Mr Obal Daniel (the former Ajuri County MP Aspirant) and Mr George Abdul, who was disqualified from NRM’s primary election for being over-aged.
Surprisingly, he was nominated by the Electoral Commission on 22nd December 2020.
Sources say Mr Abudul’s decision to get nominated could have disorganized Mr Obal’s candidature, especially after what they termed as “a very constructive engagement between their candidate and Mr George Abudul ahead of the nominations”.
“Our candidate had informed us that Mr Abdul would not seek nomination as they had held extensive deliberations, and George was willing to step aside and remain a guiding factor. A day towards the nomination, Daniel called George in our presence and in fact, George could be heard as saying ‘he wouldn’t be seeking nomination’” said an insider who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being reprimanded.
Another Obal’s aide, speaking unidentified on request, said that on the nomination day while exiting the nomination tent at the Electoral Commission Head Offices, Jinja Road, he (Obal) was shocked after seeing Mr George Abdul getting nominated.
“He (Obal) was confused. He walked back to his car and drove off to Javas, noting that he needed breakfast, but later said he wasn’t sure if he saw Abdul seeking the nomination,” a source adds.
However, two days after nomination, two sets of letters started making rounds over social media petitioning nomination of Mr George Abdul on allegations of being ‘over-aged’.
The petition signed by a one Mufakinanye Moses of Law Development Center (LDC), Kampala noted that Mr George Abdul was born on 6th October 1986, thus making him ineligible to run for Youth MP.
In his petition, Moses requested the Electoral Commission to denominate Mr George Abdul because he is ‘over-aged’.
The second letter that was addressed to a one Mr Farouk Kirunda of the Office of the National Chairman NRM sought the removal of Mr George Abdul as PVV Northern Uganda on allegations of double standards. The letter was purportedly signed by Mr Daniel Obal.
Mr Obal later issued a statement disregarding and distancing himself from the letter, noting that it could have been forged in order to bring him to disrepute.
On 25th December 2020, Obal wrote a letter to Mr Kirunda Farouk asking him to “treat as fake” an earlier letter that sought to have George Abdul terminated from the race.
In his letter, he described George Abdul as “a dedicated, humble and peace-loving NRM member” who has been “a great inspiration in the party”.
TND News has since learnt that people within Obal’s camp were bitter with Obal’s letter ‘exonerating Mr George Abdul’ as it was perceived as a tactical endorsement of the latter’s candidature.
Speaking on phone to this publication Tuesday night, Mr Obal noted that he had joined the race for Northern Youth MP on principle, and will be conducting his campaign, explaining his manifesto to the youth leaders with the hope that they may reason with him, and vote for him.
Asked on whether he felt betrayed by George Abdul, Mr Obal responded that he could not have been betrayed on what essentially never existed.
“Whilst it’s true that I and my big brother met, and discussed a few issues in regards to the development of the young people of Northern, it’s not true that I and him had any valid agreement that he wouldn’t be nominated. Yes, he along the way told me he wouldn’t be getting nominated, but perhaps he reconsidered his position and rejoined the race and I look forward to healthy competition with him,” said Obal.
The 23-year-old further noted that he is aware of plans by some individuals to involve him in ‘stupid fights’, and that explains why they wrote a letter and signed with his name.
“They are very desperate and want to push me to fight, but I don’t want to. I know how to fight very well and dangerous at it, but unlike my brothers who want to seek mandate through politics of intrigue, I want to sell my ideas to the young people and to be voted basing on that,” Obal roared.
He further noted that he’s unwilling to join the ‘nonsensical fights over age’ that’s currently involving Abdul George and Okot, adding that if he was to join the fight, maybe he could be the only authentic youth in the race.
“You see, sometimes I want to laugh at these big people fighting. Me, I am young, only 23 years and I don’t want my head to be fixed in their fights. Let them fight on who is younger or older than the other, me I will campaign. Last time a supporter of Okot came to me, told me how old George is, I asked him how old is candidate Okot and he told me lies that he is 28 years old.”
“Can you imagine, in 2013 when Okot was contesting for Guild President Makerere University, he was already 24 years old, so how can he be 28 years after 7 years?” Obal asked.
“Maybe the age issues be dropped, and candidates face each other on the plans for youths of Northern Uganda. Honestly, I should not be involved in lousy fights,” he emphasized.
According to various Northern Uganda political commentators, the existence of Mr Obal Daniel and Mr George Abdul as candidates from Lango is a significant advantage to Mr Okot Boniface.
Lango sub-region last produced a youth Member of Parliament in 2006 being Hamson Denis Obua, currently the Ajuri Constituency MP.
Ahead of 2021 elections, Northern Uganda Youth is being represented by Oscar Omony Otema, who is a son to General Otema Awany and a nephew to Hon. Richard Todwong.