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Thursday, 30 Nov 2017 19:21 EATabdirahmancajab@gmail.com
The August 8 general elections saw history made in the County County Assembly when a former chief security officer responsible for the safety of MCAs won a ward seat himself even as most of the former honourables he served fell to the voters' wrath and failed to make it back to the assembly.
Issa Ahmed Abdi, the MCA for Wargadud Ward, is a familiar face in the assembly's corridors where he once served as a security head. It is not uncommon to find him chatting with former staff colleagues who now bow to him as a honourable member of the house.
Thanks to his previous role, Issa, as he is popularly known, is well versed with parliamentary norms as he had mastered the Standing Orders guiding the house and the Constitution of Kenya, the two most used documents in the assembly.
With his good command of the English language, the MCA, who sits in the minority as a member of the ODM party, has become very vocal and is instrumental in the chamber's debates. He has participated in the passing of various bills, motions and other house business.
In an interview with this newspaper, Issa said in three months in office he had achieved tangible milestones in his representation of his constituents. For instance, he has marshalled funds through personal resources for the purchase of water for his constituents during the recent prolonged drought. He is lobbying the county government and development undertake water projects for long term solutions to residents.
He has also led initiatives to improve the region's health sector, education, and youth and women programmes. Drawing from his election plan that was widely bought into by the residents, he calls for an integrated approach to community renewal through improved water services, road maintainence, and support for needy persons and persons with disability.
His ward is expecting to receive Sh25 million from the county government as was promised by the current governor during his campaign. "We have several priorities once that fund is implemented. Health workers staff quarters in Kitulo, the Qajaja Hungai Road improvement, water projects and ECD classrooms are among the projects the community have identified for funding this year," he told this writer.
The MCA is also taking his legislative seriously, and in this regard he says the assembly's core business of passing laws for sustainable development is a priority for all members. "We need policies to change the face of our people. These mothers and old aged wazees elected us to address their needs. We are not there to make ourselves rich but invest in programmes that uplift the electorate," he said.
He finished his primary education at Kutulo Primary School in 1991, following which he joined Sambule Secondary School, completing his KCSE exams in 1995. From there he attended Egerton University where he undertook a diploma in criminology and later a degree in the same subject.
The MCA's first job was a policeman in the General Service Unit, where he enlisted in 1996 and, upon graduation from training in 1997, joined the elite Recce Company that guards VIPs for five years. In 2001, he was attached to President Moi's security, where he was to work for one year before transfering into the Criminal Investigations Department, based in Nairobi Area.
With his career ever rising, he joined the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) unit and based in Nairobi, and from 2005 to 2007, he was assigned responsibility of being the head of the current governor of Wajir, Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Mohamud, who was then serving as cabinet minister for regional development.
Issa joined the Wajir County Assembly in 2014 as principal chief security officer, and it is there where he worked until earlier this year when he resigned to join politics, contesting the Wargadud seat, which is in Tarbaj constituency, on an ODM ticket. He won the seat with 770 votes. Tarbaj emerged as a Jubilee zone in the August election but so popular was Issa that he sailed through on ODM ticket.
Being a forensic investigator, he was recently elected by his colleagues as chairman of the PAC and PIC committes which are responsible for oversight of financial spending of the county government, and as a member of the Labour committee.
Issa is all praise for the concept of devolution, which he said was changing the face of northern Kenya, which had been marginalised for 50 years. He is also optimistic that the current peace Wajir enjoys will be maintained. "Peace is the mother of development," he said.
Abdirahman Rashid Farah is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County