By Simon Komakech
The death of Col. Rtd. Charles Okello Engola (Mac-odwogo) early this year meant that there will be a by-election in Oyam North constituency in a matter of months. Okello Engola was shot dead by his bodyguard, Pt. Wilson Sabiti. Sabiti would later commit suicide by shooting.
Since his death, nearly seven people have shown interest in filling up the seat.
One of these is said to be Junior Samuel Engola, Okello Engola’s political heir.
The Oyam NRM chairperson, Jasper Onena, recently told the Daily Monitor that several people had expressed interest in the position.
He added that on May 6, the Oyam NRM executives met some of the aspiring candidates, including former ambassador Julius Peter Moto, Alfred Okello Obaro (Iceme Town Council chairperson), and Augustine Obanga Kenekene (a medical worker).
Others are Willy Omodo Omodo (former NRM youth vice chairperson for northern Uganda) and Queen Dorothy Amolo.
However, political pundits believe that this could be the time for Sam Engola to lift his face up and perhaps consider replacing his late brother.
Engola (Sam) has roots in Oyam North. He has previously served Lira Municipality and Erute South. He has also been in Cabinet (as Minister of State for Housing). However he lost both seats (MP and Ministerial) following a defeat in the hands of Jonathan Odur. This also meant that he lost his Cabinet seat. Subsequently, he also lost the NRM National Vice Chairman slot to Jacob Oulanyah (RIP). Currently, Engola (Sam) serves as the Senior Presidential Advisor on Lango Affairs.
Experts believe that for Engola to regain his political influence, he may want to think about returning to Parliament through Oyam North.
“He has always admired this Constituency. Only that his brother, Mac-odwogo) was already in. Maybe it is time he considered it,” a local of Awiu in Iceme tells the Gazette.
It is not clear whether Engola (Sam) will think about the ‘opportunity’
Speaking to a source close Engola (Sam), the source says “Awitong (Clan Chief) is still mourning”