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By sabiti Joseph


Back in 2001,as a young boy in primary six in Arua montessori primary school , i narrowly missed a bullet at the gates of Arua hospital as the army and police moved to disperse a demonstration of supporters of opposition leader Dr Kiiza besigye who believed they had won the elections

Gen yoweri museveni had just been announced as winner of the polls ,Arua had since that time positioned itself as a no gone zone for the NRM influence

to understand how col Abiriga ended up in parliament one needs to understand the local dynamics that many away in the capital seem not to understand

even as the opposition maintained a strong presence in the district for example ,Arua has never elected an opposition member as its chairman LC 5
Arua municipality that Abiriga represents ,for example has only had an opposition legislator once in Hussein Akbar Goddi in the recent times

The previous mps in DR yoramu Ajeani,Said Nasur Okuti and Eng DR Ajedra have all been NRM members

when Abiriga announced that he would be quitting his post as RDC of Yumbe to run for parliament ,many including myself laughed at the thought

many of us had known him as some one who was uneducated and therefore not qualified to contest for the position
but on the streets the sentiments highly favoured him as the locals had been disappointed by the dismal perfomance of a PHD holder who after promising heaven on earth had not met expectations of his voters
when Eng Ajedra decided to relocate to vura constituency , the Arua municipality race was thrown wide open

Abiriga positioned himeslf as the common man ,the one who is not very educated but understands the plight of the locals
he struck a chord with the predominantly muslim population and the aringa community that constitute the majority population of the municipality

The largely disorganised FDC brigade couldnot consolidate a united force to contain Abiriga

Kasiano Wadri was a troubled man in Terego ,Christian Abia the once fire brand woman mp had since gone cold and was no longer the iron lady ,Benard Atiku disgusted by attempts in the FDC camp to fail his bid had endorsed president museveni leaving a smooth playing ground for Abiriga

dont blame the people of Arua who sent you Abiriga , Goddy had disappointed them , the highly educated DR Ajedra had not met their expectations and in Abiriga they saw one of their own , a man they related with and even as they largely backed Dr Besigye for the presidency ,Abiriga was their mp

did they send him to lift the age limit ? thats a debate for another day ,so dont balme the locals ,Abiriga is a special gift to the intellectuals ,the men in suit who have been a disappointment
and for aman who is believed to be uneducated ,the fact that he is in parliament is reason enough to be forever grateful to president Museveni

"When a man is stung by a bee, he doesn't set off to destroy all beehives"

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