By John Ogulei
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party President and 2021 Presidential Candidate, Patrick Amuriat Oboi (POA) would have been happy if he had swept major Teso Sub Region districts including his home district of Kumi.
This however, did not come to pass as instead he lost to President Museveni in the sub region as a Presidential candidate.
Amuriat lost to Museveni in Kumi district where he managed to poll 25,139 votes while Museveni polled 38,234 votes. And only defeated Museveni in his village where he got 374 votes while Museveni got 136 votes.
Amuriat represented Kumi County for 15 years as Member of Parliament before he went to contest in the newly created Kanyum County in 2016 where he lost to the ruling National Resistance Movement Party’s Ismail Orot.
After the 2016 polls that saw Amuriat start losing his political ground in Kumi despite scooping the Country’s top opposition job of being a party President, Amuriat’s significance dropped.
Whereas many would say that by him scooping the Party’s top job his popularity would be much felt, others were not appreciative and referred him as a villager while others called him Project manager of Dr. Kizza Besigye.
It must be remembered that Teso leaders including Alice Alaso Asianut former FDC secretary General, Soroti Municipality MP Ariko Herbert Edmund, Soroti District Woman MP Angeline Ossege, Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa, Former Serere County MP Stephen Ochola among others openly declared that were not in support of Amuriat’s Party Presidential bid that saw him became victorious against Gen. Mugisha Muntu the now National Coordinator, Alliance for National Transformation party.
While in Kasilo for the burial of MP Elijah Okupa’s mother, the National Vice Chairperson Eastern Uganda Mike Mukula openly told voters that Amuriat was a project manager for Dr. Kizza Besigye that’s why he was given to be the Party President that many Iteso disputed.
“The people of Teso were starting to feel Amuriat’s significance in the internal democracy of FDC, His Party fronted him unprepared to contest against the established Yoweri Kaguta Museveni,” said Simon Peter Opolot, the newly elected MP Kanyum County.
“I don’t have any problem with Amuriat because he has contested against President Museveni but I saw that he wasn’t prepared to contest as president but rather MP Kanyum. The party took him unaware; he knew that it was Dr. Kizza Besigye who was supposed to contest. So as a leader we couldn’t trust him with our votes because it was a waste of time and resources,” added Opolot.
According to Opolot, whereas Amuriat candidature was a test to the people of Teso, Amuriat couldn’t openly come out to inform the public that he was brought to contest unprepared and that FDC had no better option but him.
“People didn’t vote for Amuriat but instead chose candidate Museveni because of his good projects in the region for example; the good road network, the establishment of Emyooga, Youth livelihood fund, Women Fund among others. Besides that president Museveni has undying love for Kumi people, it’s only in Kumi where you find three government aided schools in one Sub County. So why would people not vote such a leader.” Said Opolot.
Opolot further added that, President Museveni scored 38,234 votes compared to Amuriat’s 25,139 because of Amuriat’s failed 3 terms in Parliament.
“Amuriat didn’t leave any legacy at all in Kumi. Only what people know about is opposing government projects,” he repeatedly said.
Dan Mulalu, the Zonal Coordinator Office of the National Chairman who coordinated the campaigns for the President in Teso said Amuriat’s candidature came at a time when the region still needed more of President Museveni.
“The NRM achievements for the last 35 years are seen by even the blind,” said Mulalu.