Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Friday, 19 May 2017 12:57 EATabdirahmancajab@gmail.com
Jubilee Party candidates in Wajir County put a show of united force yesterday during the launch of their campaigns following the conclusion of party primaries early this month. Led by gubernatorial candidate Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Mohamud, the team landed at Wajir International Airport to a rousing welcome from their supporters.
The team held a major campaign rally in Wajir Town yesterday at the launch of a series of campaign events that will see the party's candidates for various seats traverse the county over the next one week. Accompanied by his running mate Ahmed Mukhtar alias Mashqul, senate candidate Dr Abdullahi Ali Kabreta, women representative candidate Halima Abdille and other leaders, Dr Mohamud addressed thousands of supporters after they landed at the airport. The leaders' entourage snaked its way to the main rally at Orahay Grounds followed by hundreds of supporters.
Part of the large crowd that turned up for the rally at Orahay Grounds.
Among other leaders at the meeting were current Wajir East MP Abass Sheik, his Tarbaj counterpart Mohamed Elmi, Hon Abdikadir Ore of Wajir West and Tarbaj parliamentary aspirants Idiris Abdi Abdullahi and Engineer Ahmed Bashane Gacal.
Others were Wajir North politician Adan Omar Enow (who contested the senate position in 2013 elections), veteran politician Osman Gure, Haji Yare (National Chairman of Ajuran Community), and Ahmed Mohamed, a fomer District commissioner among other dignitaries from Nairobi.
Ambassador Mahamud promised the people of Wajir that he will work with them if elected as governor, saying his main agenda was to push for ward development fund bill so the public can access the funds at the ward level. He said that as an education expert, he will boost education in the county beyond what the current administration had done.
He also promised to make devolution more successful by creating an inclusive government bringing together all the Wajir people. In this regard the candidate said he would delegate powers to other offices and lead from behind. He promised to use his foreign connections, having been Kenya's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, to raise Wajir's profile internationally and attract foreign investment. He also said that, being close to President Uhuru Kenyatta, he would attract development projects from the national government.
A flier summarising the Wajir Jubilee team's manifesto.
Mr Abdi's running mate Ahmed Mukhtar said he chose to be a running mate for his boss because he recognised him as the right leader the people of Wajir needed. He said that, being a youth himself, he expected other young people to rally behind their team.
The senatorial candidate Dr Kabreta predicted that the Jubilee line-up will win handily in Wajir. He said the brigade led by Ambassador Mohamud will carry the day, and promised that the whole team will work to restore Wajir to glory. As a senator, he said, he would represent the people of Wajir in the national parliament and ensure their affairs are well taken care of.
Dr Kabreta said he supported devolution since devolution had changed the lives of millions of Kenyans around the country. He said he would ensure that proper legislation is enacted to improve service delivery in Wajir County. He promised that, as a medical doctor, he would give priority to policy in the health sector, which is devolved, by ensuring effective support systems are established at both the county and national levels. He urged the people of Wajir to maintain peace during the electioneering period.
On her part, Halima Abdille, who is currently an ODM nominated senator, said the constitution had give a chance for women leaders to emerge and promised that if elected, she will push for women development fund like CDF.
Wajir East MP Abass assured of his support for Ambassador Mohamud whom he said deserved the position because of his ripe age. He said that as sole MP of Jubilee in Wajir County he was appealing to the people to elect President Kenyatta in order to realise more development, since the president had done so much for them.
His Wajir West counterpart Abdikadir Ore said he was the ambassador of ODM but defected in order to ensure the Jubilee team's victory. "Now I am fully behind the Ambassador and President Kenyatta's re-election," he said. The MP, who was taught by Mr Mohamud in primary school, said he respected the ambassador so much and believed that Mr Mohamud would deliver for the Wajir people.
Mr Enow, who in 2013 contested for the Wajir senate seat and came second, said he was fully behind the ambassador. He also said that he had bowed out of the race for senate seat this time around in favour of Dr Kabreta and out of respect for the Ajuran Community which endorsed Dr Kabreta. Mr Enow also said President Kenyatta is a leader who had given the region's sons and daughters different positions in government including his own and Mr Mohamud's ambassadorial appointment after they had lost in 2013 elections.
Mr Osman Gure, a vetran politician who was until recently in ODM and who had been tipped to become the current governor's running mate, said he had withdrawn his ambition in favour of the political alliance between Dr Abdullahi Kabreta and Ambassador Mohamud. He said he admired the wisdom of Mr Mohamud, whom he said will create an inclusive government. He said Mr Mohamud's age was the right one for leadership. "He also doesn't have a bad record and he serve different public sector so he can meet the demand of the people of Wajir".
Mr Haji Yare, the chairman of the Ajuran community, and former district commissioner Ahmed Mohamed assured Ambassador Mohamud that the vote of the Ajuran community will go solidly to him and the Jubilee team when elections are held in August.
On his part, Idiris Abdi Abdullahi who is eyeing the Tarbaj constituency seat said he had supported Mr Mohamud even in 2013 and would be supporting him again. Idiris, who is a financial consultant, said he would ensure if elected to the National Assembly that the Treasury gives more funds to counties since the county is the heart of devolution. He urged voters to back the ambassador.
The writers are contributing reporters for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County