Last Updated on: 2nd August 2023, 11:37 pm
Lira, May 22, 2023: More than 10 people have shown interest to succeed the former Oyam North MP, Col. Rtd. Charles Okello Engola Macodwogo (RIP) following his murder on May 2.
Subsequently, the Electoral Commission (EC) declared the seat vacant and released a road map.
To many, the Oyam North MP by-election will be one of the hottest in the political history of Lango.
On July 6, according to the EC, voters will vote for the new MP, in which over shs900m are expected to be spent.
Engola’s family and MPs on the NRM ticket from Lango have endorsed the deceased son, Engola Samuel Okello, widely known as “Engola Jnr” as the political heir of his father’s seat.
Political parties like the National Unity Platform (NUP), UPC and FDC are also participating.
On Monday 15, 2023, TND News’ Milton Emmy Akwam asked the spokesperson of NUP for the Lango sub-region, Isaac Ojok to know their interest in Oyam North.
Ojok, who is also the LC5 councillor of Agweng Town Council to Lira district, shared their thoughts with Akwam.
How prepared is NUP in the upcoming byelection?
As NUP, we are ready to participate in the byelection of Oyam North and we are not just going to participate but we are sure of the victory despite all kinds of intimidations we suspect because it is not our first time to participate in byelections.
There is always intimidation and all kinds of manners they put, especially on the candidates of NUP but we are not ready to give up. As of now, we don’t have a candidate though there are so many people showing interest to carry our flag and we are still expecting more people to come.
Being a Democratic party, we shall always follow our normal process of going into the primary (not everybody will vote in the primary). There is a committee always set to vet those people and see who can carry our flag.
When is the primary election?
Very soon we are expecting a team from Kampala to be on the ground and do their assessment on these aspirants. For us we don’t look at money, we don’t look at your papers; it’s not the priority though you should have the qualifications, you should be on the ground, you should be a committed comrade in the struggle not just now – you should always be there.
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Someone who has always been there for the party. You don’t just wait for the time when something is there and you come like, ‘Please, you do me a favour and I carry your flag.’ That kind of person is very hard to trust because, in a very short time, they turn back against the party. It has ever happened. In Arua we endorsed one of the independents, we took all the risks and the person who made it through after a short time again turn his back.
When the team from Kampala comes, definitely we will come out with a candidate who will carry our flag.
How easy is your work and do you feel threatened?
Of course. It’s not easy. You know with the regime now, just hearing the name NUP is like declaring a war. When they know you belong to NUP you become a threat before saying any word. So, it has not always been easy for me to speak the way I’m doing now.
Actually, my life is always at risk day and night because you know they are always hunting for us. Maybe the opportunity has not yet come for them but it is always very risky for us and me.
Who is in the team coming from Kampala?
There is a committee for elections that always do the vetting. (Michael Adonyo, NUP’s coordinator for Lango interjects). Sometimes we do it locally here but because of a conflict of interest (like I told you one of the aspirants is a councillor and also secretary general in one of the structures in Oyam), so, to avoid conflict of interest I wouldn’t be that same person to sit on the chair and vet them.
We always borrow a committee from Kampala – this committee moves all over where there is a conflict of interest. Where there is no conflict of interest we do the work ourselves.
But I have told you the reason they are coming is not because we don’t have the capacity but one of our leaders has shown interest and we want the process to be very fair.
As of May 15, 2023, these were the aspirants?
Okullu Daniel, NUP’s youth coordinator for Oyam and Okello Daniel, LC5 councillor of Oyam Town Council to the district.