Ayivu County MP Bernard Atiku has spoken out on an incident in which he thoroughly beat Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga, one of the legislators supporting the lifting of age limit.
The fight stemmed from an alleged incident in which Abiriga reportedly called Atiku “stupid” while chatting with other legislators.
Abiriga accused Atiku of disowning him as a fellow MP from West Nile region since he [Abiriga] is in cohorts with Privatisation Minister, Evelyn Anite.
Atiku responded by boxing Abiriga before they were separated by David Abala (Ngora) and Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya).
While Abiriga took his cold water to cool off, Atiku went on seething with rage back inside parliament.
“I am a Member of Parliament, I deserve to be respected,” he turned as if to go back and give Abiriga some extra punches but Abala pleaded trying to calm him down.
“Chill please, chill,” Abala begged, shepherding Atiku back inside.
“I will not entertain that nonsense,” Atiku insisted, waving a warning finger.
— NBS Television (@nbstv) September 19, 2017
Atiku was not long ago in the news after three women were arrested by the police in Arua for allegedly stoning the legislator as he was travelling from Arua town to his home in Awinidiri village, Oluko Sub County.
MP Atiku sustained injuries on his lips and back after he was stoned twice.
This year, Atiku made headlines when he asked parliament leave to table a private members bill for an Act entitled: “the prevention and prohibition of human sacrifice and harmful bill 2017”.
The motion was seconded by Kumi Woman MP, Monica Amoding. According to the bill, Atiku sought to fight the increasing cases of human sacrifice and witchcraft.
In 2016, Atiku voiced his support for the maintaining of the death penalty which parliament wanted to replace with life imprisonment for the most serious offences/crimes.
But the Attorney General Fred Ruhindi while appearing before the Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Committee on April 14 proposed that the Bill be merged with the government’s proposals prepared by the Uganda Law Reform Commission.
In 2015, Atiku clashed with the then Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate Kizza Besigye who was holding a procession through the streets of Arua Town.
While campaigning in Ayivu, Dr Besigye took issue with Atiku, who is in Parliament on the FDC ticket but campaigned for President Museveni.
“I am shocked and traumatised that my brother Atiku is joining Museveni at a time when everyone is running away from him,” Dr Besigye said.
Atiku in response said Besigye was not his problem but with some of the FDC leaders in Arua, who he accused of not being consistent.
He singled out Terego County’s Member of Parliament Kassiano Wadri and Ms Christine Abia Bako, the Arua Woman MP, who he accused of sometimes working against Dr Besigye and then turning around to support him when it suits them.
In 2012, police blocked Atiku and his supporters from evicting General Salim Saleh from Barifa forest.
General Saleh, a brother and advisor to President Yoweri Museveni, occupied the forest in 2011 as he mobilised locals to vote in the general elections that year.
MP Atiku and his supporters who had wanted to access the place under the guise of going to plant pine trees was blocked by heavily armed anti-riot police at Arua Mayor’s Garden before marching to the forest.
The MP had called people to turn up in big numbers to go for a tree-planting tour of Barifa forest.
The police also confiscated 300 pine seedlings Atiku and his team wanted to go and plant at the 400 square meter piece of land that is currently being fenced off from the public.
But Atiku, who was angered by the police decision to confiscate the seedlings, relocated to Arua central police station where he camped with his supporters.
The police officers led by the then district police commander Dan Byaruhanga agreed that the MP would be allowed to plant the trees.