PADER. A joint meeting of the seven candidates contesting for Aruu North MP seat by-elections last Saturday turned rowdy after the district police commander, Mr Remeo Onek Ojara, accused independent candidates in the race of being “a bunch of hooligans.”
The meeting was called by the Electoral Commission officials to harmonise campaign schedules for the candidates in the race.
Mr Ojara said it is easier to manage acts of hooliganism when candidates are organised under political parties than independents.
“When there is a problem with a candidate in a political party, you can challenge it through their party structures unlike independents who have no proper structures of leadership,” Mr Ojara said.
Last week, seven candidates were nominated for the Aruu North Member of Parliament. Of these, five are running as independents.
They include James Nabinson Kidega Nock (NRM) and Mr Benard Obina Ology [DP]. The independent candidates are; Ms Lucy Aciro Otim, Mr David Ojera, Mr Henry Komakech Banya, Mr Francis Nyero Elton Lukale and Mr Justine Oryema Boswell.
However, Mr Ojara’s remarks did not go well with the independents, who demanded an apology. “Your statement here confirms to us that you have already taken sides with political parties looking at us as independents with our supporters as hooligans,” said Mr Komakech, one of the candidates in the race.
Mr Nyero, another independent candidate, said it was improper for Mr Ojara to call them hooligans.
DPC Ojara, later apologised to the independent candidates who accused him of being impartial.
Aruu North Constituency fell vacant late last month after court of Appeal confirmed the High Court decision, which nullified the election of Ms Achiro citing noncompliance with the electoral laws.