Battle lines drawn as Wajir leaders formally withdraw support for incumbent Governor

By NepJournal March 4, 2017 14:43

Battle lines drawn as Wajir leaders formally withdraw support for incumbent Governor

Adow Mohamed:

Wajir leaders speak at a press conference held at a Nairobi hotel on Saturday, March 4, 2016. The announced withdrawing their support for the incumbent Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi.

A large section of Wajir County leaders have today formally broken ranks with area Governor Ahmed Abdullahi citing differences over the County’s development agenda.

Speaking at a press conference they held at a Nairobi hotel, the leaders accused Abdullahi of “stifling and blatantly ignoring the principles of Devolution” hence crippling the County in North Eastern Kenya.

Gubernatorial aspirant Mohamed Abdi Mohamud, Wajir Deputy Governor Abdihafidh Yarrow, MPs Adan Keynan (Eldas), Mohamed Elmi (Tarbaj), Abass Sheikh (Wajir East), Ibrahim Saney (Wajir North) Nominated Senator Halima Abdille, Speaker of the County Assembly of Wajir Bishar Omar and several MCA were present at the function which was also attended by several elders, businessmen and youth from the County.

Eldas MP Aden Keynan said Wajir went into reverse gear after devolution adding the County government failed to implement devolution structures in the sub-counties.

He said prior to the advent of devolution, Habaswein and Griftu in Wajir South and West respectively were among the fastest growing towns in Kenya but have now been reduced to dusty villages.

“There were two banks win Habaswein before devolution, they have no closed shop, Griftu was growing at a faster rate than any other town in Wajir, it has been condemned to under development” said Keynan.

The outspoken MP accused Abdullahi of Totalitarianism in managing county affairs.

Keynan said local leaders will now work an all-inclusive line up that will reflect the ‘face of Wajir and implement devolution to the letter’.

Wajir East MP Abass Sheikh said they decided to cut links with Abdullahi after he failed to live up to the expectation of County residents.

“We supported him in 2013 but we are today formally withdrawing our support after the Governor failed to build a cohesive and integrated society by engaging in selective and discriminatory development” Said Abass.

In what is seen as the biggest score for the anti-Abdullahi group so far, Wajir Deputy Governor Abdihafid Yarrow publicly defied his boss for the first time since the duo came to office in 2013 when area leaders engineered a power sharing deal that led to the formation of a coalition of major clans in Wajir delivering success to the then little known Abdullahi.

Yarrow said he was in agreement with fellow leaders present at the function that the governor failed to live up to the expectation of the people of Wajir.

Speaker of the County Assembly of Wajir Bishar Omar lashed out at the Abdullahi led County Executive saying they were well known for not abiding by the laws that govern devolution.

“We are dissatisfied with Governor Abdullahi because the County Executive he heads is well known for going against the laws of the land. Wajir county government has not been implementing devolution as required by law. The people of Wajir have not benefited from devolution” said Omar.

The speaker expressed frustration at how the governor manages County affairs saying most of the by-laws passed by the assembly have more often than not trashed.

“The laws we have been passing as county assembly such as the ward development fund that was to foster ward based development projects hasn’t been implemented to date, for this and many other reasons, I will not support the current governor for a second term” said Omar.

Nominated Senator Halima Abdille on her part said the Governor was now a lone hunter after he was deserted by those who brought him to office in the first place.

Halima asked the devolution ministry to make sure County resources were utilized well ahead of the August polls.

On drought, the leaders urged the national government to intervene saying the Governor is on campaign mood and has failed to come up with drought mitigation plans for suffering citizens and their livestock.

The leaders promised to come up with an-inclusive line-up for the County ahead of the 2017 polls as they strategize to unseat Abdullahi.

Today’s press conference comes days after the same leaders threw their weight behind former Kenyan ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mohamed Abdi Mohamud for the County’s top seat.

Mohamud was endorsed by his Fai sub-clan and later Degodia elders at a public rally held in Wajir Monday this week.

He also has the backing of the Ogaden and Ajuran communities of Wajir South and Wajir North respectively.

Wajir is among counties touted to be among the hotly contested ones in the country in the 2017 general elections attracting the eyes of top political parties.

Both President Uhuru and Opposition leaders have toured the county and held talks with area leaders with a view to the wooing the County whose leadership were largely elected on opposition party ODM ticket in 2013.






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By NepJournal March 4, 2017 14:43

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Marching in solidarity with Mogadishu attack victims in Nariobi.

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