In a show of defiance, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate, Patrick Oboi Amuriat has unexpectedly showed up in the streets of Kitgum Municipality which had been declared a no-go zone to the opposition politician.
Since Monday, the FDC has been having arguments with the Electoral Commission (EC) over Amuriat’s campaign program for Kitgum since it clashed with that of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate, Yoweri Museveni.
To avoid possible clashes between FDC and NRM supporters, a decision was taken to prohibit Amuriat from entering Kitgum town.
This morning, the police intercepted Amuriat at Matidi as he entered Kitgum from Kalongo in Agago district.
He was grabbed from his car and into a police van and driven to Lamwo district where he was allocated an alternative venue for his campaigns.
The police in consultation with the EC had allocated Amuriat an alternative venue in the neighbouring Lamwo district, but with stern orders to the presidential candidate not to step a foot in Kitgum district.
The Aswa region police spokesperson, Jimmy Patrick Okema said that the decision to take Amuriat to Lamwo was taken in the interest of avoiding a possible clash between NRM and FDC supporters.
Since Amuriat spent the night at Kalongo in Agago district, the police had directed him to use Omiya – Pachua road via Namukora, Mucwini to Padibe in Lamwo district.
Christopher Acire, an envoy in the FDC president’s office said that the EC had not officially communicated to them about the changes.
But Rogers Mulindwa, the NRM secretariat spokesperson said that the program that NRM submitted to the EC places them in Kitgum.
“This is the programme we submitted to the EC and the approved programme indicates that our flag bearer should be in Kitgum today because tomorrow he will be in that side of Karamoja. I think this collusion should have been a slight mistake from Amuriat’s side,” said Mulindwa.
Paul Bukenya, the EC spokesperson said that the date had been harmonized and reserved for NRM. “We harmonized the programme and reserved the date for NRM, which submitted its Programme earlier,” he said.
Following Amuriat’s Tuesday morning arrest, FDC leaders in the district engaged the Aswa regional police commander Ezekiel Emitu who agreed to release him at Corner mission in Pager division, some two kilometers outside Kitgum Municipality.
However, shortly after his release, Amuriat returned to Kitgum Municipality to show his presence.
He caused excitement at Akurukwe market in Central division where he drove through crowds of mostly NRM supporters donning yellow t-shirts who were waiting for Museveni.
He also later drove to the FDC party offices where he teamed up with the Chua East legislator, Philip Polly Okin Ojara.
For close to 30 minutes, Amuriat remained at the FDC offices as police battled with his supporters.
He was later driven out of town by police through Kitgum – Matidi – Mucwini road and left in the hands of Lamwo District Police Commander, Moses Akena at Mucwini trading centre.
Amuriat is expected to hold campaigns in Padibe town council and Lokung sub county in Lamwo district.