Jinja – Commonly referred to as (O.B) by the Youth fraternity, Bernard Odoi Onen’s acts of humility, bigheartedness and hard work have earned him a place in the hearts of the youth of the Eastern region.
Odoi garnered 188 votes to defeat over fourteen rivals in the October 2020 ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) primaries to become the flag bearer.
His opponents in the NRM Polls included David Gesa, Enoch Otim Okanya, Romeo Mabandha, Derrick Natwaluma and Andrew Julian Taliwaku. Others were Peter Arikos, Sarah Mpongo Namusoke, Moses Otekat, Kristian Kibuuka, Noah Mwidu, Sumaya Balunywa, Samuel Enimu Ekaju, Mike Mugude and Thadeo Wanyama Judas.
Details have emerged as to why stakeholders and youths in the region collectively want Outspoken Odoi the NRM flag bearer effectively elected the youth MP come 2021.
According to sources, during a meeting that convened in Kamuli early this week attended by key youth leaders from Busoga region, the group endorsed Odoi and vowed to wholesomely vote him to represent the young people in the forthcoming elections.
The youth said that unlike other candidates who are selfish and self-centered, Odoi is such a young generous nationalist and Pan-Africanist with enthusiasm for young people who even before vying for a parliamentary seat served both the NRM Party and young people with passion.
‘’ Odoi has the capacity and potential of lobbying for more positive programs that benefit the youth of Eastern region. In terms of solving problems faced by young people in the region like unemployment ,Odoi has been supporting us to attain Skills for Job creation and empowerment in various areas where a number of youths have benefited’’, said a Youth from Mayuge.
The youth leaders argue other aspirants contesting with Odoi have been in power but are very inactive when it comes to speaking for the young people and accused them of misrepresentation.
They also maintain that some independent and opposition youth MP aspirants for the Eastern youth MP race are too mute and idle when it comes to issues of national policies and youth politics.
‘’With over 75% of the population being 30 years and below, as a country we have the right energy sets to transform Uganda and our region into a middle income country.
This can be done through creating an enabling environment and not handouts to transform the youth of this amazingly gifted country and we believe Odoi is a gift from God’’, another leader told Red Pepper Digital.
When contacted on a phone interview, youth enthusiastic NRM diehard Odoi told Red pepper that young people in the region needs to be supported in addressing the challenges in getting youth capital venture fund, sensitizing them on existing government programs, ensuring an enabling environment for youth employment in agriculture, supporting youth oriented projects, Improving youth education and learning and supporting youth entrepreneurship.
‘’The challenges and opportunities facing young people vary widely by gender, age, educational level and health status. The NRM government has come up with brilliant youth programs but what has been lacking is the Voice for the young people and now that they have entrusted me with the mandate to lead them, I will work with all stakeholders to ensure that we change their status’’, Odoi said.
Odoi , the CEO of Bencity holdings, a company tendered to disinfect trucks at Malaba border, went to Tororo Progressive and Lugazi homeland for O&A-level respectively.
He later joined Kampala International University for higher education.
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Odoi hassled from abject poverty collecting Garbage using a bicycle in Kampala in search of survival and school fees to now running one of the biggest Waste Management companies in Uganda employing many youths across the country.