The official campaigns for Omoro by-elections have begun amidst low voter turn-up and intimidation as six candidates battled to fill the vacuum that was left by the death of Jacob Oulanyah.
The NationaL Resistance Movement (NRM) started with a door-to-door campaign while opposition’s National Unity Platform (NUP) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) accused police of intimidation.
In Adak trading centre, the NUP candidate Tolit Simon Akecha was trailed by a police patrol car, and his campaign was distracted by a group of individuals who started distributing t-shirts and money to the people who had gathered to listen to his message.
Tolit’s supporters later on confronted the group and tried to send them away. Police did not intervene in the chaos although it kept presence at the venue.
Speaking to journalists shortly after his campaign, Tolit said that NRM has partnered with the police disrupt his campaigns.
Tolit said that he would petition the Electoral Commission to lodge in a formal complaint about what he called “intimidation of his supporters.”
The FDC candidate, Justine Odong, said that he had received numerous threats on day one of the campaigns. Speaking to his supporters, Odong said that he would want to work with the people, not for the people.
“I want to listen to all your problems, what you need is what I will specifically advocate for,” he said, at one of his pressers.
The NRM’s Andrew Ojok Oulanyah had to wait for more than an hour for supporters to gather before he started preaching his gospel of continuing with what bus father, the late Jacob Oulanyah had started in Omoro.
Ojok said that he will make sure that main road in Omoro is tarmacked and his focus will be so much on education, health services and infrastructure.
Other candidates include Odonga Terrence (IND). Kizza Oscar (ANT) and Jimmy Onen Walter (IND).
Meanwhile police spokesperson Fred Enanga said on Monday that reinforcement teams have already been sent to the constituency to police the campaigns that started on Monday.
Enanga warned voters in Omoro County against election malpractice ahead of the scheduled by-election next week.
Campaigns, according to the Electoral Commission will run up to May 24, 2022 before the election on May 26, 2022.