ARUA CITY. The Member of Parliament for Ayivu county Mr Bernard Atiku has said he was not lured into joining the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party but joined to get part of the national cake for West Nile region.
Atiku was addressing reporters soon after he was welcomed into the NRM party at Onduparaka Division headquarters by Arua district NRM officials.
“My coming to NRM has been a well thought out decision, I have not been lured to join NRM neither have I been pushed, it is a personal decision that represents voices of the majority of people in Ayivu county and therefore I want to allay fears of whoever is having another thought about my joining NRM”, Atiku stated.
He said he will remain friends with colleagues and friends who are heartbroken because of his decision but called them to also join the party.
“As West Nile, we don’t need to shy away from NRM, I speak as a grandson of a chief who moved a motion saying let us receive NRM in peace, no son of West Nile should raise the barrel of the gun against the NRA and I think from that time to date, those who have attempted to raise the barrel of the gun against the NRA/NRM have also negotiated peacefully to abandon rebellion”, he added.
Atiku who said he is going to contest in the yet to be announced Ayivu West constituency scoffed at those who had hopes of carrying the NRM flag that nominations had been closed with his entrance.
He said as a young leader, he had joined NRM among those who had been patiently waiting to manage the imminent political transition in the country.
Atiku also said he had seen light at the end of the tunnel following the signing of the contract to extend the national grid to West Nile region and the granting of the city status to Arua.
The chairman of NRM party in Ayivu Division Mr Cyril Eriku said Atiku had made them to lose a lot of development projects from the government because as an opposition MP he could not lobby enough from the government.
Ms Joyce Amaguru, the district NRM vice chairperson said the entrance of Atiku into NRM had opened the doors for other opposition MPs to join the party.
Atiku’s political journey began in reform agenda while still a student at Makerere University which latter transformed into Forum for Democratic Change. He later in 2006 contested as district councillor for Adumi sub county beating long serving Cyril Eriku and served as chairman social services committee of the district council.
This would later serve a launch pad for the Ayivu constituency still under FDC to beat the incumbent Margaret Angufiru to join the 9th parliament. But his relations with the FDC started to sour up and in 2016 he opted out and contested as an independent which he easily won.