The National Resistance Movement (NRM) delegate members for Soroti district have unanimously endorsed Edmond Herbert Ariko as the party’s flag bearer in the forthcoming Soroti City East by-election.
The By-election arose from a Court of Appeal ruling that upheld a High Court judgment nullifying the election of Moses Attan (FDC) as the Soroti City East MP.
Court of Appeal judges; Cheborion Barishaki, Stephen Musota, and Christopher Gashirabake, ordered the Electoral Commission to conduct a by-election for the Soroti City East seat.
The judgment followed an appeal filed by Attan challenging the Soroti High court decision that had ordered him out of parliament and ordered a by-election in Soroti City East Constituency following a petition by Herbert Edmund Ariko.
Speaking at the delegates’ conference held Thursday 16 at Jeressar High School, the party Secretary-General, Richard Todwong, told the people of Soroti East that God has offered them a second chance to go back to the drawing board, reorganize and choose the right leader to deliver on their expectations.
“The voice of the people is the voice of God; you have chosen to stand with Mr Ariko to deliver the victory of our NRM family. The Secretariat will never impose a candidate on any voters because it is their fundamental right. We, therefore, congratulate you upon your constitutional right,” Todwong said.
He appealed to the aspirants who withdrew their troops to join the Ariko camp and form a much bigger campaign force.
The six aspirants willingly stepped aside and agreed to support Ariko.
In his acceptance remarks, Ariko said the views, opinions, interests, and decisions of the people have been heard and shall be respected by the NRM leaders, adding his willingness and love to diligently serve them.
“My desire in this election is to find a right footing in this city. NRM has a majority everywhere and there is no reason to be intimidated by the opposition. We shall find time to sort out our issues which have been making us lose. As NRM supporters, I empower you to follow the four principles of our party which preaches unity and patriotism,” Hon. Ariko appealed.
He promised a political tsunami to whoever thought NRM was in a disarray saying despite their silence, the mass family enjoys an overwhelming majority as proven during general elections.
“I invite everyone to focus on one thing and that is victory. We are heading into this by-election to settle for nothing less but victory. I am humbled by the demonstration of your support and confidence in me to carry hold your ticket until victory is realized,” Ariko promised.
The NRM Vice Chairman for the Eastern Region, Capt. Mike Mukula, said the party is formidable but has only been lucking proper organisation which comes in with the new leadership.
“NRM has tremendously transformed Soroti city in infrastructure, roads, and modern market among others which is reason enough and prudent to reward it with loyalty and support. We are launching a full-scale campaign aimed at reclaiming the city from the opposition. The party is going to deliver through the Parish Development Model that has been capitalized by the government with over one trillion to alleviate ordinary people out of poverty,” the veteran politician stressed.
Director for mobilisation at the NRM Secretariat, Hon. Rosemary Seninde, said the people of Soroti have eased the work of the party leadership, adding that they are left with no option but to support the candidature of Hon. Ariko when the time comes.
“I am grateful and proud of you for explicitly endorsing the candidate you want. Through thick and thin we are here as the party to help you fulfil your dream of taking Ariko to Parliament next month,” Seninde said.
Dr Tanga Odoi, the Electoral Commission chairman, said the era of confusion within the party leadership is over as demonstrated by the joint meetings and uniform message being propagated.
The NRM party shall officially unveil Hon. Herbert Edmund Ariko as their flag bearer at a later time after completion of all necessary consultations.
According to the Electoral Commission roadmap, nominations of interested candidates are scheduled to take place on the 18th and 19th of next month ahead of the by-election slated for the same month on the 28th.
The conference was attended by the Director of Information and public relations, Hon. Emmanuel Dombo and several members of staff attracted party leaders from district structures, opinion leaders, and groups in the informal sector, among other groups.