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Saturday, 08 Jul 2017 14:38 EATabdirahmancajab@gmail.com
Ahmed Maalim Omar yesterday launched his manifesto as he battles it out with other four candidates for Wajir North Parliamentary seat during the August 8, polls. The 14-point manifesto is meant to make him rise the score card of the constituency by improving all spheres of development. He has also promised to invest on peace program to eradicate the perennial border disputes.
He is vying on PNU ticket an affiliate of Jubilee Party and is supporting President Kenyatta’s reelection. Mr Omar is facing the incumbent Ibrahim Saney (Jubilee Party), Ahmed Abdisalan (ODM), Colonel Abdirahman Ali Maalim of Kanu and Narc’s Mohamed Osman.
Mr Omar aka Ahmed DDO is banking on his experience as an Economist by profession where he rose through the ranks to the level of Ag. Principal Economist, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Department, Ministry of Planning, National Development & Vision 2030.
He has studied International Studies at Post Graduate level and has exposure and experience in International Development having worked with both Governmental, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Non State actors in the region and beyond.
Earlier in his career, he worked as a District Development Officer, Wajir District where he got the famous label Ahmed DDO. He also worked as a Policy Specialist, Kenya Livestock Marketing Council (KLMC) representing pastoralists interest in advocating for better markets for their livestock as well as lobbying for and influencing the removal of tariff and no-tariff barriers to livestock trade in Kenya.
He worked as a Regional Policy Advisor, Drylands Resilience, Cross Border and Grow Campaign, Oxfam GB, Horn East and Central Africa.Mr Omar now is a Consultant and a Regional Policy Specialist on Cross Border issues in the Horn of Africa and larger Horn, East and Central Africa.
He was once a delegate to the Bomas National Constitutional Conference representing Wajir District, and also served in its Steering Committee as a representative of the North Eastern Province where he interacted with past and present leaders at a higher level.
The aspirant is also credited for serving as a member of the Devolution Thematic Group that spearheaded the inclusion of Chapter 10 on Devolution (County Government) in the Bomas Draft which eventually became part of the Constitution of Kenya in 2010.
“My agenda is seeking to represent Wajir North constituency in a fair, just and equitable society; the poor, marginalized, youth, women and the excluded segments of Wajir North residents are considered a key plank in my priorities and delivery of services”, he said when he launched his manifesto.
He says he is out to turn those obstacles facing the people of Wajir North into opportunities such as increasing incomes, creating lasting impact at household level and by expanding the local economy.
The manifesto is cross cutting on issues that are aimed at creating the necessary synergy for County and National Dialogue including governance, cohesion, peace building and security among other issues. Major pillar of the manifesto is about access to markets.
One of the key highlights of the manifesto is about access to markets. Prophet Muhamad SAW when he migrated to Medina asked the Ansar where their market was and they responded that it was outside Medina. From that he directed them to come up with their own market in Medina town. Following Prophet Muhamad SAW’s tradition Hon Ahmed Maalim’s leadership will give access to market expansion in the Constituency. Key among these is the Bute Regional Livestock Market.
Currently, IGAD’s project which involves building resilience of cross border communities in the Horn of Africa is undertaking improvement works on the market which will be user ready in a couple of months from now. Similarly, with the help of Allah SWT, we will ensure we export our camel directly through the port of Djibouti.
This will in turn increase the market value of our camel by three folds meaning that a camel which goes for USD1000 at the moment will be valued at USD3000 under this programme. We will, in collaboration with the incoming County Government undertake the opening and operationalization of the market. It is imperative to note that Hon Ahmed Maalim was involved in the initial opening of the market during his short stint with the Kenya Livestock Marketing Council (KLMC). Under a similar initiative, the following market days are proposed for the Constituency; Bute – Mondays, Gurar – Tuesdays, Danaba – Wednesdays, Batalu – Thursdays, Buna – Saturdays and Korondille – Sundays.
In collaboration with the incoming County Government development market infrastructure will be initiated and fast tracked thereby making these markets user friendly. These markets will bring together all constituents on particular day’s thereby increasing incomes and sales turnover as well as encouraging integration, cohesion and peaceful co-existence among the various communities in Wajir North Constituency and neighbouring communities.
Other key pillars of the manifesto include:
a) Youth and Women Education, Empowerment and Employment where he plans to link tertiary education to career growth, and ensure youth and professionals can get employment locally, nationally and internationally. He promises to initiate and opening up table banking for women and youth as a priority focusing poverty alleviation.
b) Construct and equip a Veterinary Lab, and ensure there are veterinary professionals in every town in the Constituency to support "Holadaqata" in the control of Trans-Boundary animal diseases (TADs) as an effective mechanism for control of animal diseases.
c) A food secure sub county through initiation and expansion of irrigation fields, feedlots and post-harvest stores. He promises to turn Wajir North into the bread basket of the Wajir County and the Northern Counties, and exit from relief. Harvesting of rain water will be enhanced.
d) Lobby for and support the opening up of the first commercial bank in the Constituency as well as the introduction of sharia compliant ventures to promote savings and spur economic growth.
e) Improve water governance issues such as access to clean and portable drinking water to reduce incidences of water borne diseases.
f) Support to education through initiation and implementation of school bus system basically for excursion to other parts of the country and local transport especially for the secondary schools in the Constituency. Efforts will be made to open and expand, and actively promote the growth of more secondary schools in the Constituency.
g) Support the implementation of dams for micro irrigation and as a catchment reservoir for places relying on shallow wells.
h) Establish a portal for students pursuing secondary and tertiary education, and decentralize the awarding of bursary at the locational level to improve on access, transparency and accountability.
i) Initiate and implement village banking concept for youth to improve access to credit for start-ups and business expansion.
j) Initiate and implement mobile clinics that will move with pastoralists to water points in the hinterlands during the rainy season in order to improve access to basic curative services and reduce infant and maternal mortality incidences.
k) Good neighbourliness, a calling and tradition in our religion. To initiate, promote, pursue and implement a regular intra and inter community platform for dialogue among neighbouring communities and ensure that there is no time under his leadership that disagreements over water and pasture will lead to conflict. He promises to engage leaders of neighbouring communities in mutual trust and promote reciprocity in sharing of water and natural resources during prolonged drought.
l) Good governance and zero tolerance to corruption in the implementation of the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NGCDF).
m) Improve road, energy and communication infrastructure including renewable energy, and extension of the road tarmac from Bamba Junction to Gurar town that is landlocked for now.
n) At personal level, commit to improving access to ‘Tahfid’ and Madrassa in the entire Constituency.
On matters of County politics he supports the gubernatorial candidature of Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Mohamud during the coming polls. He says Ambassador will unite Wajir people. He is also supporting former area MP Dr Abdullahi Kabreta who is contesting for Wajir Senator.
Abdirahman Rashid Farah is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County