Wilfred Ochola Hiram, the Gulu Municipality Forum for Democratic Change-FDC parliamentary candidate has rejected a directive from the district party chairman to step down in favor of DP President Norbert Mao. According to Ochola, the Gulu FDC party chairman Simon Toolit has asked him to withdraw from the race in favor of Mao.
Mao is eyeing the Gulu Municipality MP seat. However, Ochola says he will not heed to the directive that comes a few a days to the official nomination of parliamentary candidates. Ochola says both the FDC party headquarters and district leadership endorsed him as the flag bearer.
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Early last month, Simon Toolit, the Gulu FDC party chairman told URN that FDC didn\'t have a candidate for the Gulu Municipality MP seat. However, on 18th November, Toolit confirmed that Ochola had picked forms to represent the party. Toolit says despite this, the Gulu FDC party leadership is behind Mao.
He says they asked Ochola to step down in favor of Mao to avoid wastage of resources and build a strong opposition. He argues that many opposition members are rallying behind Mao saying it isn\'t good for Ochola to go against the party decision.
Ochola accuses Toolit of using his position to frustrate his candidature. He claims that Toolit wants Mao to campaign for him in Omoro in the 2016 elections adding that he doesn\'t have FDC at heart. FDC stalwarts like Gulu District chairman, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Woman MP Betty Aol Ochan and her Aswa counterpart Reagan Okumu have thrown their weight behind Mao.
Attempts to speak to Major General Mugisha Muntu, the FDC President were futile as he could neither pick nor return calls from URN. But Norbert Mao, the DP President told URN that there have been ongoing talks between him and the FDC structure in Gulu over his candidature for the Gulu Municipality MP seat.
According to Mao, the opposition is committed to forming a strong alliance for the good of the country. He however says he was not aware that FDC had asked Ochola to step down in his favor. The other aspirants eyeing the Gulu municipality MP seat are Komakech Kilama, an independent and Timothy Jok-kene.