As the January 14th 2021 general elections draw closer, a section of Members of Parliament across the country are struggling to reach out to their electorates due to the stringent measures set out by the ministry of health in order to curb the spread of the noble coronavirus pandemic.
In Bukedea, all the seven male aspirants have struggled to reach out to their voters since the campaigns kick started.
The eight include incumbent Hon. John Bosco Ikojo (NRM flag bearer), Sam Oita Odeke – FDC, Mr. Stephen Ekoom – NUP and independent candidates Mr. George Stephen Ekuma, Mr. Obilan Abubakar, Mr. Peterson Omoding, Mr. Kenneth Eyatu and Daniel Emasit Osuret.
Political emotions in the country have traded high since June after the electoral body, in its revised roadmap to the 2021 General Election, announced that aspiring candidates will have to campaign ‘scientifically’ as a measure to fight the spread of Covid-19.
Digital campaigns will include a process of candidates for President, Parliament and Local Governments soliciting for support majorly through televisions and radio stations, as well as via social media platforms.
In Bukedea district, there is only one private owned radio station to serve all the candidates for Bukedea County and also Kachumbala County.
The radio station (Mama Bukedea Radio) is owned by the district woman MP, Hon. Anita Among who sailed through to the 11th Parliament unopposed.
Sam Oita Odeke, the FDC flag bearer said that since the electoral commission launched scientific campaigns, he has never appeared more than twice on radio to speak to his electorate.
“This scientific campaigns have blocked most of us from reaching our supporters, the radio owners have increased the prices and some don’t even want opposition to access the radios,” said Mr. Odeke
He added that most of the candidates have been blocked severally by police when they try to use the public address system to pass the message to the voters.
Sam Muron the political assistant for incumbent John Bosco Ikojo said they always move from Bukedea to Mbale city to access radios to reach out to their people.
Muron added that whenever they try to comply with the electoral commission guidelines, many threats surface. He said that some politicians direct the radio owners on whom to host and not.
“We just struggle to move home to home to talk to people and sometimes we just use the chances given to us in the burial grounds,” said Mr. Muron.