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Tuesday, 28 Feb 2017 14:05 EATyarriska90som@live.com
Elders of the Degodia clan endorsed Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Mohamud for the coveted Wajir gubernatorial seat yesterday, making even with an earlier endorsement by another group of Degodia members of the incumbent governor Ahmed Abdullahi who boycotted the event. However, two of Mr Abdullahi's ODM party members were instrumental in winning the endorsement for the Jubilee Party aspirant, signifying divisions in ODM's rank in Wajir County.
The clan elders' endorsement earned Mr Mohamud accolades from ordinary people and other aspiring leaders who attended the colourful event in this border town, thrusting the ambassador to the front-runner status in a race shaping up as a tight three-horse contest between him, the incumbent and Ahmed Muhamed who is leading a 'third force' whose party is yet to be identified.
Yesterday marked an historic event at Orahey grounds when thousands attended the crowning of Ambassador Mohamud. Orahey is an historic ground in the heart of the Wajir CBD, where festivals and declarations are made. Mr Mohamud got the “blessings” after representatives of elders drawn from all the 10 Degodia sub-clans and leaders held a meeting in Sheikh Ibrahim Farm Wajir town on Sunday. Governor Abdullahi declined to attend the meeting, widening the difference between him and the elders following his objection to the joint elders and leaders’ decision to endorse Mohamud.
What started as one day long Degodia consultative meeting, spearheaded by the Tarbaj MP Mohamed Elmi and his counterpart from Eldas Adan Keynan, nominated senator Halima Abdille (all of ODM) alongside the Wajir East MP Abass Sheikh of Jubilee, obliged the acceptance of the nominee to the entire people of Wajir through a complete cycle of Wajir elders’ involvement. Endorsed at the same venue was Senator Halima for the seat of the Women Representative in the coming August polls.
I theory, 'everyone could show up', shake the governor nominee's hand, and maybe have some cheer and ululation as a fat contribution. The event was characterized by traditional and cultural performances to praise as the crowd witnessed the endorsement of their candidate. One of our sources summed the event thus, “What a scene did we witness, the majesty of the people who had converged, and, youth, women, children, scrambling for good space to get it all, we are romping”.
“It is absolutely nerve- wrecking for the all- awaited governor of Wajir” a Somali speaking mother observed, depiction of what arguably can form the supper challenge the incumbent is expected to encounter in his comeback dream.
Addressing the jubilant crowd, Ambassador Mohamud released statements touching on the welfare of the common man's heart, the poor, the disabled the women and the youth pledging to work with and for the people of Wajir devoid of their social economic and political backgrounds.
Most importantly, he promised to make the county achieve a proper sewer system longed for by the people. His impressive speech also promised to improve the healthcare sector should he win the seat in office. "There will be no need to seek medication in India or overseas, our hospitals will be facilitated properly and our medical personnel will be given full training" he said.
Elaborating on his manifesto, the former ambassador and three time MP of the then Wajir East constituency remarked, "My manifesto will be that of the people of Wajir, you are going to write your own manifesto, so be ready for that".
The final endorsement of Ambassador followed various stages with the first one being that of his Fai sub clan. His first breakthrough came when, Mr Ugas Sheikh, a clansman and former governor nominee-withdrew from the race in his favour. Mr Ugas who attendance spoke in full support of Mr Mohamud’s bid for governorship.
Governor Abdullahi is reported to have dismissed the elders' endorsement, telling associates that, being in the opposition-ODM the majority of the elders in Wajir have thrown weight behind him. It was, however, his fellow ODM MPs Elmi and Keynan who largely engineered the endorsement of Mohamud’s candidature. While Elmi is resigning from active politics on personal choice, Keynan is seeking re-election for the Eldas seat in a race where he is being challenged by Dr Ahmed Boray Aralle seen as a tight competition. Dr Boray was endorsed by the Jibrail sub clan who are dominant in Eldas Sub County.
Unless things chop and change in the foreseeable future, the race for Wajir governor is shaping up as a three horse race pitting Mohamed Abdi Mohamud (Jubilee), the incumbent Amed Abdullahi (ODM) and Ahmed Muhumed (party unknown). Mr Mohamed Abdi hails from the Fai sub clan of Degodia, Mr Ahmed Abdullahi from Mantaan sub clan of Degodia and Mr Ahmed Muhumud from the Ogaden clan. Even though a Mohamed Abdi bandwagon is seemingly gaining moment, the one to carry the day is not known.
Mohamed is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County