By Sharmarke Yussuf:
Is Eldas Constituency a time bomb waiting to explode? Since its inception, this tinny constituency which when compared to other constituencies in the country is relatively smaller has been engulfed in deadly conflict over its boundary.
For many Kenyans who may not know where Eldas is, please allow me to share a brief information. Wajir town is now one of the oldest in Kenya. British Colonialists officially established Wajir as its headquarter in 1912. The colonialists divided the district into three settlements namely Wajir East for Degodia, Wajir West for Ajuran and Wajir South for Ogaden. This was how the colonialist governed. The Ajuran land stretched from Godoma near Ethiopian hills to Habaswein in Wajir South covering over 22,000 Kilometers.
In 1979 the Degodia tribe slowly moved into Wajir West and dislodged the Ajuran community from power. Since then fighting between the two communities continued and many lives were lost.
To ease the tension, Wajir North was carved out of Wajir West creating a seat for the Ajuran community. The district enjoyed a lasting peace for nearly 20 years until Eldas constituency come into being.
The current MP for Eldas Adan Keynan who originally hails from Rhamo in Mandera district challenged the then Member of Parliament for Wajir West Hon. Ahmed Khalif in a hotly contested election in the Degodia clan’s history where Adan Keynan emerged the winner.
A recent newspaper article describes Hon. Keynan as a hard working politician who personified the art of cunning, ‘loud, controversial and always thinking of his own survival’.
With a taste for power, Keynan was poised to be the King of Wajir County politics thanks to President Kibaki’s “Relief District Distribution Era”. As a reward for his loyalty Eldas was born. He then made sure that Eldas was a safe haven for him and particularly for his own Jibrael sub-clan.
For the first time, transport systems in Wajir North came to a standstill for several weeks as the security situation of the area escalated and lives lost, houses burnt, properties destroyed and looted. The situation was so tense that Wajir North Member of Parliament Hon. Ibrahim Saney threatened to lead Wajir North locals to seek refuge in Ethiopia.
It is therefore paramount that for the sake of lasting peace in Wajir County, ELDAS Constituency be abolished and the original Wajir West boundaries reverted to.
The writer is a former Wajir based journalist who currently resides in the USA. He can be reached at Wajir14@hotmail.com. The views expressed here are his own and in no way represent those of Nepjournal.