Davis Owani, the politician that the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) had handed its flag for the Omoro County by-election has refused to come for nomination on the second and last day of the exercise.
On May 12, the day the Omoro byelection nomination exercise started, FDC and its president President Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) claimed that Owani had been kidnapped by unknown gunmen the previous evening.
Amuriat said that Owani was kidnapped as he returned to Omoro after appearing on a talk show on Rupiny Radio in Gulu City at about 8:30pm. The party president further alleged that the arrest could be “the handwork of the usual suspect fearing the strength of FDC in this particular by election.”
But the party would later announce that Owani had been found and that he would be leaving Kamdini Police Station where he was said to have spent the night for his safety. Owani was expected to be nominated on May 12 but did not show up for the exerciseat the Omoro District Headquarters.
Now, after waiting for Owani in vain, the party has decided to front another candidate. According to Philip Polly Okin Ojara, the FDC chief campaigning officer for Omoro, Owani was expected to be nominated at 3pm.
Ojara further revealed that besides intimidation, Owani was offered a Shs150m bribe but he had told them he had refused the money.
“I think the abductors thought they would, first of all intimidate him by the abduction and indeed they actually intimidated him. They requested him to step down, they removed all his original documents,” said Ojara, expressing hope that Owani would turn up for nomination on the FDC ticket.
“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 that they have offered him Shs150m. So, we said if you had picked that money that would have been a different story altogether.”
But later, Ojara confirmed that Owani had pulled out of the race and that the FDC had chosen another person to carry the party’s flag. The new candidate for the party is now Justine Odong, the FDC Chairman for Omoro District.
Ojara said Odong had great potential to win the byelection, adding that the party was still strong in the district. FDC supporters accompanied Odong, the alternative candidate, to the nomination centre.
The FDC chief campaigner said that Odong, who has been a councilor and sub county chairman, would win the race.
The ruling NRM has fronted Andrew Ojok, son to former speaker Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah. Ojok Oulanyah recently confessed that replacing his father as MP looked opportunistic and that he was not the best candidate in the race. (Read Story Here).