Four-time presidential candidate, Rtd. Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye, has said Patrick Oboi Amuriat was a last option to run as the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag bearer, calling him a last-five-minute decision conceived in his sitting room at Kasangati by some party members, a choice he did not support.
According to Besigye, FDC leadership at the time failed to prepare for a suitable candidate, even after he had informed the party organs that he would not run again since his doctors had advised him against campaigning due to health problems.
“I was not part of the team that picked Amuriat to run as FDC flag bearer; the decision was made in my sitting room, yes, but I was not part of the selection team. It took only five minutes to declare Amuriat flag bearer; I was weak at the time and could not participate in a vigorous election,” Besigye said.
However, Amuriat has rubbished Besigye’s claims and accused him of selling FDC to the National Unity Platform (NUP) in 2020 and trying to cover his trucks by illegally creating a government within a government and handing it over to Erias Lukwago to complete his transaction.
“I used to respect Besigye as my leader and founding father of FDC, but in 2021, he declined to support my candidature but instead asked us to team up with NUP and support it,” Amuriat said.
Amuriat further states that, once they declined his request, Besigye completely failed to acknowledge him as FDC party president and flag bearer and did not campaign for him, nor did he follow him on the campaign trails.
“Besigye only welcomed me to Rukungiri because it’s his home town. Having contested four times, he would have moved with us to tell our voters that the party is in good hands. However, he chose to hold secret meetings with Members of Parliament from the Buganda region and NUP leadership to strategize for NUP working against the party he founded,” Amuriat revealed.
According to Amuriat, as witnessed, after the elections, Besigye and NUP at Hotel Africana signed an alliance to legalise their transaction, a meeting Amuriat declined to attend since they did not agree to that coalition.
“The coalition of FDC with NUP had some setbacks because, unlike Besigye, we were not interested in the coalition; NUP’s ways do not fit in our kind of politics. They believe in politics of division and not holding elections without regard to the outcome on people’s lives,” Amuriat said.
FDC supporters are concerned about the party’s future because it has two factions, one in Katonga with its own leadership and another in Najjanakumbi with its own leadership.
According to political analysts, the biggest dividing factor in the FDC is Dr. Besigye, who took sides instead of uniting the party.
Since the squabbles began, the FDC has already seen defections to other parties, losing adherents to NUP, NRM, and ANT.(explorer)