Dokolo—July 2, 2020: The decision by Dokolo district NRM delegates to forbid new aspirants from contesting in the party’s primary elections in Dokolo South and North constituencies has drawn mixed reaction across political divide.
The meeting convened by Dokolo NRM party chairperson, Beatrice Abang alias Molly Kia pronounced Felix Okot Ogong (Dokolo South) and Paul Amoru (Dokolo North) sole flag bearers for NRM in the upcoming 2021 polls.
“We called the meeting so we could brainstorm and forge a way forward as a party on how we could ensure we produce flag bearers amidst the challenges brought in by Covid-19 because time seems to be running out…” Albany told TND News a day after the meeting.
The meeting attended by over 40 delegates would later endorse MPs Okot Ogong and Paul Amoru.
“Upon arrival of the two legislators, the delegates were excited and started chanting sole candidate and we thus resolved,” Kia adds.
Bosco Okwir, a councillor of Agwata sub-county, is among a few NRM delegates who are dissatisfied with the decision of his party.
According to Okwir, the universal adult suffrage adopted by NRM as a determinant for flag bearers is the most appropriate. He wants the ordinary masses who believes in the ideology of NRM to decide on who should represent them.
“Or, alternatively, allow the aspirants to have conversations among themselves and resolve on who should carry the flag to avoid conflicts,” Okwir says.
Away from the delegates, intending aspirants for NRM primary election with intention to hold the flag have also spoken out with resentment on what they refer to as “a draconian” decision by the district conference.
Some have questioned the rush in such decisions and also why they were never involved in the meeting, yet both incumbents attended.
Ogwal Golie who has expressed interest to contest for the parliamentary seat of Dokolo North against Paul Amoru has bitterly reacted on the resolution of the district conference.
“I am reaffirming my position that I will contest in Dokolo North on NRM ticket…..that decision of the meeting is null and void and why didn’t they invite me?” Golie told local FM stations in Lira when interviewed.
In Dokolo South, Daniel Okello Okello who in 2016 elections ran against Felix Okot Ogong and lost is equally scoffing at the district delegates and accuses Beatrice Abang of “favouritism”.
Prior, Kia had told this digital newspaper that intending aspirants were not invited for the meeting and that both Okot Ogong and Paul Amoru gate-crashed but took part in the meeting as ex officio members, a provision in the NRM constitution.
And with Daniel Okello Okello, Kia said she was not sure if he is indeed a member of the ruling party because she was not privy to any records.
“I am surprised at her statement, she should know that I hold two membership cards of NRM and I also voted for her (Kia aka Abang) to become the chairperson NRM of Dokolo.” Okello lashed back.
Mr Okello alleged that the decision taken by the district conference moots bad motive because they (intending aspirants) were not invited for a meeting that would later decide on their fate, adding that the sole candidate project could have been engineered by the incumbents who are inferred failure in the primary elections.
“You know the history of elections in Dokolo South and anyone can tell you that Okot has never won elections fairly and yet for 25years the state of service delivery is wanting and this explains why the people are demanding for my representation Okello,” told TND News’ Frank Oyugi.
Both Paul Amoru and Felix Okot Ogong have remained mute on this decision, but the delegates have courted the duo as “hard working, result oriented and people centred legislators”, a reason they shouldn’t be challenged.
In Lira, meanwhile, the NRM district executive also sat at Lira Hotel where aspirants were asked to declare their interest and positions which they intend to contest for.
It is only in Erute South where Sam Engola was declared a sole candidate by a sub-county chairperson holding a ruling party card.