Campaigns for the Forum for Democratic Change’s (FDC) Presidential Candidate Patrick Oboi Amuriat have yet again suffered a setback after security organs dispersed a grand rally they had organized in Pabo Town Council, Amuru District.
Amuriat, who spent the better part of Wednesday detained at Gulu Central Police Station (CPS), was on Thursday expected to address campaign meetings in Northern Uganda’s districts of Nwoya and Amuru.
It is understood that his arrest on Wednesday was in connection to holding an illegal meeting which authorities insisted was contradictory to the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Taking no chances, after his release, Amuriat set off for Anaka Town Council in Nwoya with a Police van closely following his convoy.
However, upon setting foot in the township, he was bluntly told off by Police to desist from holding a procession or else he faces their wrath, something that triggered a bitter disagreement.
“We are not going to allow you to intimidate Ugandans,” Amuriat told the security personnel.
With Police unrelenting, however, he caved in and allowed to hold the meeting at a nearby venue within the vicinity with a set capacity of about 48 seats.
After its conclusion, Amuriat proceeded to Pabo waving at minute crowds that dotted the Gulu-Elegu border until he was intercepted by supporters in Pabo Town Council who begged him to address them on the fringes of the road.
As anticipated, the Police intervened telling him to find a secluded place but Amuriat defiantly stood his ground and refused to vacate which in turn prompted Police to fire tear gas at the Party’s supporters.
In the melee, a lady aged about 25 years fainted after Police lobbed a tear gas canister in her house while another male was reportedly injured by a rubber bullet. By press time, both victims were still receiving medical treatment at Pabo Health Center Three (III).
FDCs Presidential Candidate Patrick Amuriat carrying an injured civilian to Pabo Health Center three.A stalemate lasting two hours ensued between security and Amuriat until the latter decided to return to Gulu at about 6:20 PM.
Despite these shortcomings, FDC’s National Field Coordinator Roland Kaginda Mugume intimated that they are not going to give up.
“My work is not moving well because of these people. No one is going to stop us, no one is going to divert us. And you people, don’t fear because if you fear, who is going to guard our votes,” Kaginda told a crowd at Anaka.
“The Police are mistreating our candidate. The candidate of the NRM President Museveni is moving freely,” he bemoaned.
A party supporter who was reportedly injured by a rubber bullet pleading for medical help on Thursday.According to media reports, it is understood that Police Chief Martin Okoth Ochola ordered territorial commanders to block political meetings and assemblies that are not in conformity with Covid-19 SOPs.
Sources privy to us have disclosed that FDC is divided on the issue of joining colleagues; Gen Mugisha Muntu, Norbert Mao and Gen Henry Tumukunde in suspending campaigns.
The above, on Wednesday, halted their campaigns in the wake of what they have termed as increasing state persecution.
On Thursday morning, a crisis meeting held at Najjanankumbi resolved to proceed with campaigns but some insiders want POA to stand in solidarity with his fellow contestants, something which his team is not willing to accept.
“We are going to have a crisis meeting; it is going to sit in a few minutes. This intention is to review this campaign, what is going on in this campaign in respect to our right to access the population,” Amuriat disclosed on Thursday morning.
It remains to be seen whether the campaign meetings scheduled for today, Friday November 19, 2020, in Adjumani, Moyo and Obongi will be allowed.