Below is the full speech..
ARUA. My dear folks and comrades, I rise up today to thank you most sincerely and congratulate you upon successfully completing the campaign for the Arua Municipality seat in which we garnered about 2700 votes. This was not a simple feat.
However I must first thank God for the protection he gave us. Everything we did was under his light and we could not go this far without him and I now ask him to bless us in abundance in all ways and in what we seek.
In the same spirit I too congratulate the other contestants and the winner in this election my brother Wadri Kassiano. I pray forgivingly for his release so that he may assume this seat and go on to complete the remaining 2.5 years left. The votes he and others got represented the cries of our people. It was a choice of who the voters thought would best address their plight...we saw these faces during the campaign. I read poverty and desperation in those faces. I learnt many lessons from those faces and my heart aches for them. The marginalization of our region and its people, the lack of sufficient electricity, poor social service delivery, lack of accountability and many more things defined what our people go through and what this campaign was about.
Folks you contributed greatly in every way to this campaign. The financial and material input was enormous from all of you and made it possible for us to stay the course in this campaign. Perhaps what many will not realize is that you contributed greatly to making this election free and fair..the riggers in every election did not get a chance as we blocked every opportunity. If they were not blocked, they would have stolen the people's victory.
We have taken so many lessons from this campaign and I pray we use them well for any future engagement. For instance we learnt about loyalty and betrayal, sacrifice and money mindedness, ground support and street support, playing soft and being aggressive, being confrontational and less confrontational, honesty and dishonesty, principled and shrewd, the politician and the leader and indeed so many things. We should use this experience to benefit any one of us interested in politics in the future.
We came in as newcomers and ended as serious contenders. We faced off with indomitable parties in this election without a grounding here. I took that decision without much ground work within this constituency and we confronted every thing and situation as we introduced ourselves. The decision was sudden and the votes we got are a true reflection of the 4 weeks effort not 2-3 years of preparation. So I'm proud about you folks and the voters for this achievement.
We played safe and never attacked any contestant in ways that were abusive, derogatory and divisive. I will easily and quickly undo any wrongs against other candidates if there was any. For those who became personal and used combative, Divisive and abusive words, I pray God gives them courage and guidance to undo the wrongs. After all we will all be on the streets of this municipality after this and any future election.
Understanding this constituency, no MP will really solve all the problems of our people but with our support, we can make a significant contribution. There are promises I made to the electorate if elected. However I will still be able to deliver on some and I do so as an expression of my gratitude to the over 2700 voters who believed in me. I urge all of you folks to turn your helping hands too to our people back home. We should do so not for the politics but because our people are despondent. Too many demands but few helping hands. If a people can change their mind on voting day when given 1000 shillings, it points to a much deeper problem. Our poverty has blinded us and destroyed our moral fiber as it has our consciousness. We will take time to correct this but work on it must start now.
We must continue to preach unity in our region and I do not think issues of religion, tribe played out strongly in this election though one or two candidates tried to use that. We rejected any attempts to project the moslems as divisive on religious lines and the result is a clear testimony. Even though some leaders tried to rally people on these grounds, the people's intelligence overshadowed the unprincipled rallying call.
I urge Hon Wadri Kassiano to unite the people of this constituency. He should focus on this constituency more than he does about how to win in 2021. The latter will be a distraction which will impact negatively on the contributions we as a people can make to develop ourselves.
Now I must thank most sincerely people and groups of people whose contribution in this campaign has been invaluable. Most especially my family, my entire campaign team, coordinators, Mobilizers, polling agents and advisers, membership of West Nile Foundation, OBs and OGs plus all sister associations, the media, the entertainment industry in Arua, the entire religious fraternity, security forces and diaspora friends & family. Let it be known that I appreciate the efforts of all and will be reaching you to convey my thanks personally.
For God and my country
Ejiku Robert (aka Laala)
Candidate in just concluded Arua Municipality Elections