Lira – With President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni again declared unopposed by NRM top executives and rapidly endorsed by his supporters for the 2021 Presidential polls, it does not mean our leader since 1986 will secure his seat comfortably.
Definitely, the Head of State will have to sweat, dish money to electorates as his competitors to the top seat will be doing the same, maybe.
According to electoral commission, a body mandated to organize and manage polls in the country, the 2021 polls will be held in February.
And with no road-map and directives issued by the commission for candidates to start campaigning, some have started to use professional means to moblise and create public awareness about their candidatures.
Among some politicians who have shown interest to unseat President Museveni from State House and take him to retirement, is a former Makerere University lecturer and a politician, Dr Daniel Okello.
Okello Dan holds a PhD in political science and public administration of Makerere University. He often calls himself, and prefers to be called ‘Senior Citizen’.
The author of ‘Merits and Demerits of Decentralization’ and Rural Communities Under Stress’, Dr Okello says he has attracted the interest of Uganda youths and farmers for his famous decisions of taking Uganda government to Court for failing to allocate adequate resources to the agriculture sector, each fiscal year.
“With Dr Dan Okello, every ordinary Ugandan is a priority,” he says in his recent book, titled: “Restore Democracy and Good Governance in Uganda”.
In this new book, Okello told TND News he’s going to use what he has penned down in black and white to make sure ordinary Ugandans gain freedom.
“No doubt you will find my name prominent and high about being brave and courageous because no wonder, I killed a lion when I was 14 years old. To date, I am a coward,” excerpt of his book, reads.
In 2016 polls, Okello stood for Erute County North MP seat in Lira district as an independent candidate but was defeated badly by FDC giant, another lion, Charles Angiru Gutumoi Abacacon.
In that election, ‘Uncle Dan’ polled only 826 votes with FDC Angiro obtaining 13,333 votes, followed by the then incumbent, Geoffrey Omara ‘Adigi’ got 12,506 votes.
Mr Okello, who’s not loyal to UPC party under Akena Jimmy leadership, and has been declared by ‘defiant ayu-ayu member’ by the Kampala Road based party, says he still, to date a member of UPC party only.
“For the whole of my life I have subscribed to UPC party only, unlike others who continue to traverse from one party to another. I have been the UPC chairman for Lira district for the last 20 years and I have been able to consolidate UPC support in Lango and Uganda,” he the 2021 presidential aspirant added.
He adds: “UPC remains strong in Lango and Uganda because of my personal support, contributions and sacrifice.”
Support towards his presidential bid from farmers, women and youth.
“Equally more important is that I have attracted youths and farmers of Uganda, who are over 80% of the Ugandan population to support UPC party for my stand to have NRM out of power. Indeed, over 80% of the population relies on agriculture for subsistence or commercial life with over 70% doing subsistence agriculture,” he noted.
In an exclusive interview with TND News from 10th floor, Uganda House in Kampala, Mr Okello says he’s the only UPC top leader who can battle with President Museveni.
“Have you heard I have a lot of support? People in the UPC are backing me to stand for Presidency?” the aging Professor asks.
Asked how he’s going to manage it as a ‘non UPC member’, the 2016 parliamentary loser replied: “In Lango, Kampala, Bushenyi and every places they’re singing Daniel Okello oyee, Daniel Okello oyee.”
It’s also worth noting that earlier this year, Dr John Ricky Akeny, former President Museveni’s adviser on veterinary affairs also declared his presidential ambition in 2021 polls.
Another Lango man, Mr Akeny was also the former Erute South MP on UPC ticket before crossing Karuma bridge to join Movement bus – from where he was awarded a well paying job.