By NJ Correspondent:
A large section of Mandera North residents has welcomed the candidacy of renowned entrepreneur and businessman Mr. Abdi Ali.
Accompanied by a convoy of supporters, the aspiring MP visited several areas of the vast constituency over the past few weeks including Ashabito, Ogorweine, Shirshir, Guticha, Olla, Rhamu Dimtu, Kalicha, Rhamu and Mandera town among other areas where he shared his manifesto with the locals.
Jubilant supporters lined up the streets to welcome Abdi Ali and the huge delegation accompanying him. Local elders in all the locations he visited endorsed him unanimously finding a true son in him since he was born and bred in the constituency and crisscrossed all these locations during his early years in life as shepherd and medical practitioner.
During his tour, the former medical practitioner turned politician pledged to end perennial problems facing Mandera north residents in the areas of health, education, security and water.
He also pledged foster the livestock industry, which is the backbone of the region’s economy.
Abdi Ali was among the 11 aspirants who submitted their applications to contest for the Mandera North seat to a committee comprising of 20 elders drawn from all the sub-clans of the Dagodia clan. They handpicked (Rtd) Bashir who was in the race in 2013 but lost to the incumbent veteran politician Adan Mohamed Noor.
Majority of Mandera North residents’ have broken ranks with the decision by the elders who were accused of blackmailing other candidates in the process shrewd with secrecy and behind the scenes lobbying by well-connected individuals in what has become the modus operandi of elders in the North Eastern region and their much hyped negotiated democracy.
Most elders face accusations of handpicking those who dance to their tunes in the process curtailing the hopes of hundreds of political hopefuls.
Some political analyst have it that Major (Rtd) Bashir will have an rough time in his bid to land the Mandera north seat since he was brought up in neighboring Wajir and is not famous in the constituency.
During his campaign tour, his competitor Mr. Abdi Ali challenged the process and convinced residents of the areas he visited that the process was not free and fair ultimately resulting in the endorsement of an ‘ineligible’ candidate for the seat going against the wishes of the people.
“Nothing will stop Abdi Ali’s candidature; he is the ideal son of the soil who understands the people’s needs. He is the man who can unite the entire people of Mandera County due to his vast work experience and knowledge in the region.” Said one of the local elders who threw his weight behind Abdi Ali.
During his tour, Ali urged locals to register en-masse.
In a grand meeting held in Mandera on Monday, members of the local Dagodia community urged Abdi Ali to soldier on to the ballot and assured him of their support.
Elders, professionals, youth and women attended the colorful meeting.
After delivering a moving speech, the aspiring MP was christened with a new name – AbdiNasib – which literary translates to the lucky Abdi.
Abdi Ali commenced his schooling life at Rhamu Dimtu Primary where he finalized his primary education.
He was then admitted to Mandera Secondary school where he wrapped up his secondary level education.
Abdi graduated with Bachelor of Arts in Economics and sociology from the University of Nairobi. He also two holds Masters including one he recently completed in Public Policy and Administration from Kenyatta University.
He is a renowned businessperson and previously worked with Save the Children International as a Programmes coordinator.