Patrick Oboi Amuriat, who is the current FDC president, hailed his senior party colleague Amb. Wasswa Birigwa for “his magnanimity in accepting to step down” when the two went head-to-head for the party flag. Amuriat, a former Member of Parliament for Kumi district, told reporters at the party’s headquarters in Najjanankumbi on Monday that he was grateful that the party’s National Council had “accepted to endorse me”. “I will be using my 26 years public service experience to execute this calling that I graciously accept,” he said, going ahead to underline his credentials. “The country is aware that I have been a Member of Parliament for 15 years and during my tenure in Parliament, I served in many capacities, including chairing the powerful accountability committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises [COSASE]. “I had previously of course worked in development areas as a civil engineer and also as a teacher, which two professions are in my line of training. I have work with and under Dr. Kizza Besigye in many elections – pre and post-elections civil rights campaigns (…) that have seen us in and out of prison and loaded with many cases that have been brought against us in various courts in this country.
Amuriat has led the FDC for for nearly three years. He talked of how even during the tough times within the party, he and others had soldiered on. “Of course worth mentioning is that at one time there was terrible turbulence in the FDC party. The turbulence threatened to cause the collapse of this party. But together with my comrades and friends, we chose to stay within the party, we managed to weather the storm. And here we are today, presiding over a party in good health,” he told journalists in his first media briefing since becoming the party’s presidential flagbearer.
“In Amuriat you have an experienced person to lead this campaign. Of course we will do it as a team with guidance from Dr. Kizza Besigye. This is not my campaign alone. It is a campaign of the deprived who want to free themselves. “It is a campaign we will collectively execute. The FDC is present in every village in Uganda and that is our greatest comfort. It is these FDC leaders and supporters that will help me with this campaign.