According to the Electoral Commission (EC), only six candidates fulfilled the requirements to be fully nominated for the upcoming Omoro County Member of Parliament by-election.
The EC on Friday, May 13, 2022 concluded the nomination in which 6 candidates out of 12 were nominated to replace the late Jacob Oulanyah who passed on in March 2022.
According to Omoro district returning officer Moses Kagona, out of the 12 candidates who picked nomination forms, only 6 fulfilled all the requirements set by the electoral commission.
“Six (6) candidates, namely; Onen Jimmy Walter (IND), Odonga Terence (IND), Tolit Simon Akecha (NUP), Kizza Oscar (ANT), Ojok Andrew Oulanyah (NRM) and Odong Justine (FDC) have been nominated to contest for the seat of Directly-elected Member of Parliament,” EC said after the nominations.
Meanwhile, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) was forced to choose another candidate for the race after their endorsed candidate Owani Dick Denis failed to turn up for his nomination on Thursday.
FDC on Thursday morning announced that their candidate for Omoro County had been kidnapped by unknown gunmen.
“Our candidate for Omoro county Owani Dick Denis has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen ahead of his nomination today, his whereabouts are yet to be Known,’’ FDC said in a statement.
“He was on his way to Omoro from Rupiny radio talk show in Gulu at 8:30 pm when this happened. We highly suspected this to be the handwork of the usual suspects fearing the strength of the FDC in this particular by-election,” FDC President Patrick Amuriat Oboi also confirmed.
However, the party later announced that their candidate had been found and was getting released from Kamdini police station where he had spent the night for security reasons which were not revealed to the public.
According to FDC, Owani was expected to show up for nominations which he never did thus forcing the party leaders led by Philip Polly Okin Ojara who is FDC’s chief campaigning officer for Omoro to endorse another candidate Justine Odong to carry the party flag.
Ojara further revealed that besides intimidation, their candidate Owani had been allegedly offered over Shs. 150 million bribe to abandon the race which he declined but later confirmed to the party that he had pulled out of the race.
“You know these people are offering any amount of money so long as the candidate can accept to step down. According to him, he is saying they have offered him Shs.150 million, so we said if you picked the money, that would have been a different story altogether,’’ Ojara said.
According to Ojara, their new candidate Odong also has the potential to win the race having served as the area councillor and Sub-county Chairman noting that the party is ready to support him with all the campaign activities.
According to the EC program, the six candidates will have 10 days to campaign and rally support across Omoro from Monday, May 16 to Tuesday, May 24, 2022, and the by-elections will then be held on May 26, 2022.
By Kobusiinge Monica
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