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Aruu North by-election attracts four candidates

By Arnest Tumwesige

Added 27th February 2017 12:40 PM

The seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal nullified the election of Lucy Aciro

The seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal nullified the election of Lucy Aciro

Pader Electoral Commission has released Aruu North constituency by-election road map with nominations slated to take place on 9th to 10th March and campaigns to commence on 13th to 2nd April.

Joseph Omona, the returning officer, said update of the voters' register is ongoing and will end on Tuesday.

He added that voting in the 95 polling stations for over 41,000 voters will be done on 6thApril.

The parliamentary seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal nullified the election of Lucy Aciro for breaching the electoral laws during the February 2016 elections.

Aciro garnered 8,599 votes in the polls defeating NRM's Nabinson Kidega James who polled 8,597 votes.

The by-election has attracted four candidates and New Vision interacted with them about their aspirations.

Nabinson Kidega James aged 38 from Okinga village, Gem-nyot parish in Acholi-bur Sub County in Pader district.

He is a holder of a Degree in Development Studies from Gulu University. He served as primary teacher, worked with Red Cross International as program director in Gulu and World Food Program Field officer.

Kidega is a founder member of Charity for Peace Organization in Gulu and Amuru districts before being appointed by the President as a Resident District Commissioner till he resigned in 2016 to contest in Aruu North.

Kidega who is the NRM party flag bearer told New Vision that belonging to the ruling party puts him a mile a head of his rivals to solicit for support to the constituency once he is voted.

Using his work background, Kidega said he will put humanitarian ideology above self to provide the poor people with clean water, health and improve education.

"When a government starts a program, it's upon leaders to identify gaps in it and lobby from friends within and outside the country so that people continue getting services," he added.

He said unlike his rivals who have not been on ground, he is aware of the people's problems, what they want and how they can be helped to go over them.

He cited issues of education, poverty and diseases like Hepatitis B and Nodding syndrome which required a leader who will attract researchers to find a lasting solution.

Bernard Onen Okeny aged 43 from Okinga village, Gem-nyot parish in Acholi-bur Sub County in Pader district.

He holds a master degree in management studies and started work in 1999 as a social worker with International Rescue Committee.

Onen has served at national and international level in the NGO fraternity. In the last elections, he contested under the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) ticket where he got 4,428 votes, coming third.

"My constituency is lagging behind in terms of education, school dropout is high. There should be a deliberate strategy to tap into such problems" Onen told New Vision.

Onen wants to use his skills gained from working with NGOs by lobbying for help that will transform the society with a focus on tackling poverty.

He also wants to advance enacting laws that don't infringe on the rights of people through getting their opinions so that they are part of the process.

I will initiate a proactive kind of leadership like accelerated programs to tap into the youth who are struggling ends to meet so that they can have vocational skills.

He also promises to lobby for partners who can help famers develop cotton production whose yields are good in the district.

"I have a better social capital with my people, they understand me well. I also work with them and am real" he added.

Lucy Aciro

She was area MP, but lost the seat after Kidega her closet rival challenged the results. She is contesting to retain the direct seat.

Attempts by New Vision to talk to her several times have been futile with her claiming to be too busy.

"I have shared my profile and ambitions for contesting with several media houses you can get the information from them" she said.

Justine Oryema Boswell aged 54 of Kalawinya village, Kalawinya parish Angagura Sub County.  He holds a Degree in Mass communication from Islamic University.

Oryema who worked on Radio Uganda and now owning his own media house in Gulu Municipality is contesting on an independent ticket for the first time in Aruu politics.

Oryema says Aruu North has suffered a lot in the hands of politicians who are fighting for their own selves making the local people miss out on better services.

"Leaders should learn to front people's issues than engaging in useless fights which have existed for the last one year," he added.

Oryema says he's coming into political arena to rest the fighting politicians so that he can streamline service delivery than fighting each other.

Oryema's manifesto focuses on uplifting people to improve on their livelihood so that they can embrace government programs and also have self-initiative projects.

"People are poor because they are not sensitized, they need to be motivated to work by using their brain than waiting for free things" he added.

He also notes that while land remains a contentious issue in the community, people should be told to dialogue with developers than remaining idle so that it can spur development.

Oryema says to address such community needs requires a leader who is result oriented like him and above all with an inquisitive mind that tackles problems.

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