The Aruu South MP, Samuel Odonga Otto, said he has quit Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party and intends to stand as an independent candidate in the 2021 general election.
“I am not joining any political party in the next election. I just have to rebrand myself as an independent candidate and represent my people,” he said.
The legislator said while bedridden after the accident, he reflected on his life.
“God spoke to me, saying I should change my political approach to attend to the needs of the vulnerable people in my constituency, since I have done lot at national level,” Otto said.
He announced his departure from the FDC camp on Saturday during a thanksgiving service after surviving a road accident at Katugo, Nakasongola on December 28, 2018 while driving from Gulu to Kampala Monsignor Matthew Odong, the vicar general of Gulu Archdiocese, presided over the prayers held in the Mayor’s Gardens in Pader town council.
“I quit the FDC party because if I present myself as an opposition Member of Parliament, people do not understand and think I am an enemy of the state.”
He said many people have not yet reached the level where they see Opposition as those that check the ruling government when it is not doing enough for the people. Otto said his being in FDC was blocking him from many opportunities. He added that he was finding it difficult to support candidates from other political parties and he did want to be bound by collective responsibility, but wanted to make decision for his people.
Otto, however, declared that during the 2021 polls he would support and campaign for any candidate who is not from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, saying he promised his father (now deceased) that he would never work with President Yoweri Museveni.
The legislator noted that in case any other NRM person replaces Museveni, he would not be locked out because he would no longer be in FDC party and would give him the opportunity to move step ahead. He advised politicians from the Acholi sub-region to style up and position themselves so as to take advantage of the change that is definitely coming Betty Aol Ocan, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament who doubles as Gulu District Woman MP, said Otto’s decision would not affect FDC party and he was entitled to his own opinion.
Aol said it was still too early for Otto to quit and they would try to interest him in returning to the party and make sure that if there was anything bad in the party, he fights it from within.
“He is courageous politician and eloquent in English. We cannot afford to lose such a young and talented politician. He is a person who can bring a proposal to impeach even the President; he has a rare character”, Aol described Otto.
She said there was need for them to continue advocating democracy and good governance which are critical in multi-party system Aol said:
“All political leaders must honor political parties. If Otto is not satisfied with his party it is because the ruling party is frustrating political parties; intrigue and electoral laws are not favoring mult-party system”.
She said there was a big problem of individual merit which must be fought by all members when they are under a political party.