By Adow Mohamed
Mandera senator billow Kerrow has received criticism over his support for the council of elders’ decision that came to be known as the Banisa declaration.
Kerrow said he supports the elder’s decision not for the failure of being re-elected or fear of the consequences of ignoring the decision, but agreed not to be considered for any elective post in the upcoming elections before the council of elders give their verdict for all serving leaders to vacate their leadership positions to pave way for other 20 sub-clans.
He added that he only kept to his words for the model of rotating the community leaders agreed upon in 2012 when a community charter was signed by all the 20 sub-clans of the Garre clan.
He also said that he informed the elders that he will be bound by their decision moments before they gave their announcement as all the other political leaders.
“As lawyers would say, my word is my bond! It’s about my integrity, my commitment to Islamic values that imbibe absolute fidelity to your pledge. The circumstances of their decision notwithstanding, my pledge to abide with their decision binds me to accept that which I believe was done by the elders in the best interest of the community,” said Kerrow.
Kerrow lashed out at Mandera Governor Ali Roba for trashing the verdict of the elders despite committing himself to honoring it before the decision went against him.
“A promise is an obligation, and its fulfillment is the ‘twin of truth’ as Amir ul Mu’minin Ali (RA) exhorted.” Posted Kerrow on his Facebook page.
Kerrow, a seasoned politician has been at the forefront in efforts to legitimize the decision by the elders by calling on his colleagues from Mandera to abide by the Banisa declaration.
He also urged youths to desist from actions that are “inimical to unity of the community as the unity will be valuable to them in the future.”
Relations between Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow and Governor Ali Roba was rosy in the past few months prior to the Banisa community meeting with the outspoken Senator becoming a thorn in the flesh of the Mandera County government with his famous serialized ‘oversight’ posts on Facebook.
It was not clear whether Kerrow had won the ears of the elders and succeeded in relegating Roba from the clan equation given their past differences.
Roba on the other hand has distanced himself from the Banisa decree and vowed to seek re-election.
The Mandera Governor is not the only one to go against the increasing decrees by traditional elders in North Eastern.
In Wajir County, Ambassador Mohamed Mohamud made a U-turn and announced his candidature for the Wajir Governor despite earlier throwing his weight behind a candidate anointed by his clan – Fai.
Senator Kerrow is a fan of what he calls ‘negotiated democracy’ which will send home all the 24 elected leaders and seeks to dismantle political dynasties and fiefdoms.
Other than Kerrow and Roba, four MPs Mohamed Huka (Mandera South), Mohamed Abdi Haji (Banissa), Mohamud Mohamed (Mandera West) and Aden Mohamed Noor (Mandera North) are ineligible for re-election.
The decision also affects Mandera Woman Representative Fathia Mahbub and 18 elected MCAs.