October 17th 2017

Entertainment / Celebrities

Veteran Wajir West peacemaker poised for victory in Arbajahan MCA race

When this reporter met him in Wajir Town to discuss the rationale of his confidence, he attributed his good odds in the race also to age, asserting that he had worked among the community for decades and earned the people's trust.

By Abdirahman Rashid Farahabdirahmancajab@gmail.comThursday, 01 Jun 2017 16:02 EAT

A snapshot of Mr Abey Jimale Yussuf's campaign banner.

With 68 days still to go to the August 8 general election, Abey Jimale Yussuf, who is running for the Arbajahan Ward seat in Wajir, has put all the necessary arrangements in place to ensure his success not only in the election but as an elected representative.

So sure of the candidate of victory of victory that, in his discussions with allies and the media, he is no longer talking in terms of what he would do 'if' he won the election, but rather about his programmes 'after' he wins. The Maendeleo Chap Chap candidate is a popular man in the county, Wajir West in particular, where he has previously vied for the same seat.

In the 2013 general elections, Mr Yussuf came second in a competitive race, losing to the incumbent only marginally. A businessman and social worker with an interest in peace building and community reconciliation, Mr Yussuf says he took his failure as a learning experience, and he believes he has covered the ground and will be catapulted to office this time around.

Among the factors working in his favour, he says, is his close cooperation with the local people in addressing social issues despite the fact that he has been out of office. He strongly and proudly talked of his achievement in terms of peace building, describing the role he has played in addressing border conflicts between Wajir and Marsabit.

"Sometimes we have some community clashes, and as a leader I have spearheaded peace talks for the interest of our communities across the border," he said, touting a special award he received from a NGO engaging in conflict mitigation and community reconciliation in the region.

Mr Yussuf is one of eight candidates for the Arbajahan ward seat, but he and his supporters believe he stands tall from the crowd. When this reporter met him in Wajir Town to discuss the rationale of his confidence, he attributed his good odds in the race also to age. "Due to my age, I am the right candidate for the post," he said, asserting that he had worked among the community for decades and earned the people's trust.

On his manifesto, he said his key goal is to promote inclusivity, support education sector, bring fruits of devolution to the people such as soft water, improved health sector, peace promotion across the Marsabit/Wajir border and finally empowering the marginalised youth, women and people with disability.

The candidate said: "Once elected, I will ensure I sponsor a bill concerning of ward development fund to bring equity across the county by channeling development budgets to each region on a legitimately agreed basis". He said through proper legislation the people of Wajir stand to accrue more gains from devolution.

"We can change the lives of our people, but we need sound policies to do that". He promised to become a servant of the people and leader of substance. "I will change the image of capital city of my ward Arbijahan," he vowed.

Last month, the candidate visited and campaigned entirely at the ward level and he said the reception he received was good. "Last time I was number two, but this time I will be number one," he exuded confidently.

According to his advisers, the candidate has a different campaign mode from his competitors. Instead of congregating voters at political rallies or market centres, he moves door to door and meets the people in their own homes.

Abdirahman Rashid Farah is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County





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