GARISSA—Section of leaders from Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) on Monday resolved to back former prime minister Raila Odinga in next year polls.
While making the declaration at a function in Garissa attended by three governors and dozens legislators, the political leaders said Raila’s presidency would mean more goodies for the region battling drought, poor road connectivity and threat to the devolution funds it receives annually.
“It was through the Handshake that for the first time, one of our own is in charge of the nation’s money,” said Senator Abdul of Garissa, referring to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and National Planning Ukur Yattani.
Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo stated that when Raila started working with President Uhuru, the purge at the parliament favored legislators from the Nothern Kenya.
“It’s because of Handshake that I am today the deputy Senate Majority Leader,” Dullo noted.
Most of the speakers hailed Raila Odinga the political leader that favored devolution. His arrival comes just less than a month since he told the residents at a marketplace in Muranga that one of proposals in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was the call for the one-man-one-vote-one-shilling formula. He said the push would have seen Murang’a county receive additional billions due to its large population.
Mr. Odinga added that as it stands, it was not fair for counties in the North Eastern Kenya, especially Mandera County, to receive more allocation from the government due to their geographical areas as compared to central Kenya counties which has a larger population.
This statement attracted a lot of attention from numerous Kenyans who accused the former primier of undermining the North Eastern counties and their place in the devolution funds allocation.
Raila said he would share most of the concerns with the president. He also pledged to rally senators to pass the Equalization Funds which the leaders insisted was a priorit.
“We know that this region has faced numerous challenges ranging from the covid-19 pandemic to drought. we know how animals have died as a result of lack of water,” said Raila.
Raila who disclosed that he was the brains behind the tarmacking of the Garissa-Nuno-Modogashe road said that top on his agenda if elected will be the completion of the road to Mandera.
“I want to give an assurance the completion of the road will top on my agenda. I want to see to it that we move the road from Modogashe to Wajir then to Mandera. Then the one from wajir will be tarmacked to Moyale,” said Raila.
After the event, former Wair Governor Ahmed Abdullahi read a joint resolution that was later adopted by the delegates.
DECLARATION BY NORTHERN KENYA LEADERS/PROFESSIONALS
4th October 2021
We the people drawn from the northern Kennya counties of Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo and Marsabit are keen to forge a united front and avoid disjointed and disorganized operations as we approach the next general elections. As leaders of the region, we accept and take responsibility to unite our peopleand chart a political path that benefits all residents of the three counties.
We are cognizant of the unique problems that stem from the pre-independence periods and our geography as a region including marginalization, insecurity, aridity leading to droughts and flooding, poor infrastructure, insufficient access to opportunities for education, poverty and famine, among others.
In this regard, we reaffirm our support for the efforts of H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rt. Hon Raila Odinga to unite the country as a prerequisite for national development and we will make efforts to replicate the efforts in our counties.
We reaffirm our support for the agenda for Shared Prosperity and national inclusion.
We recognise that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which is currently held up in court, was a positive effort in this bid to unite the country and enable us face our problems as one people of one destiny.
In this regard, we renew our commitment to the values of democracy, freedom and respect for the rule of law and commit to foster peace, national cohesion and consultative and inclusive approach to national development.
We recognize our responsibility as leaders to unite our people behind the national dreams and aspirations as a means to being part and parcel of the national conversation in our quest to shape the region’s political destiny and socio-economic fortunes.
We recognize the deliberate efforts by the National Government to work closely with the county governments of this region in an effort to lift the region economically and create harmony among the various communities residing in our counties.
Acknowledging the continued support accorded to the community by the National Government and;
Appreciating the various interventions by the National Government to address challenges facing our various counties;
Appreciating the benefits of the prevailing peace in the country, which is a direct result of the close working relationship between H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rt. Hon Raila Odinga;
We the northern Kenya community, have met on this 4th Day of October 2021 to deliberate on issues related to the forthcoming General Elections slated for August 2022. Guided by our shared ties, values and principles, we commit to work closely to achieve the socio-political aspirations of our people, and hereby make the following declarations: –
We call on others to join us in pursuing this agenda.
Adopted on behalf of Norther Kenya counties on this 4th Day of October 2021.
God Bless Our People. God Bless Kenya.