Stern security rhetoric dominated the speeches of governors from Wajir to Mandera and Garissa counties where the county leaders found themselves hard-pressed to assure the non-locals of their safety, ABDIKADIR OKASH compiles.
“Insecurity in Northern Kenya is a real threat to stability and could be a setback [in] the gains achieved so far through devolution,” Ahmed said.
His sentiments were echoed by the county commissioner who said the security of residents regardless of their background is a number one priority.
Also in attendance at the event were the Wajir East MP Abass Mohamed, Wajir South legislator Abdullahi Dakalow and his Tarbaj counterpart Mohamed Elmi. The County senator Abdirahman Olow was also present at the fete.
GARISSA: Speaking at Garissa primary grounds during celebrations to mark this year’s
Jamuhuri Day, the governor told non locals to ignore the text messages doing rounds in the town calling for the their expulsion.
The governor assured that his administration was working closely with the securityagencies in the county to crack down on rumor-mongers and those behind the divisive text messages.
“This county belongs to all of us and the county government remains grateful to you all for [the] individual roles you played in building thiscounty. The success and stability of the county system depends on thedegree of cooperation and you should not run away because of two rotten
eggs,” Jama assured.
He urged the local residents to peacefully co-exist with Kenyans
from other parts of the country.
MANDERA: Governor Ali Roba opened his speech with a request to observe a minute of silence in honour of those 64 Kenyans killed in twin terror attacks in Mandera.
Then after, he took a swipe at the Al-Shabab militants saying they were keen on destroying the education and health sector of the county by putting fear in the hearts of the non-local teachers and medical staff who make up the bulk of skilled workforce.
“This [attack] was targeting the education sector because they know [that] more than 80% of our teachers are from the other counties and by doing so they have managed to scare the teachers. As we speak, more than 150 teachers have requested for transfer putting the sector in danger of possible closure of some schools,” Roba said.
He continued: “More than 53 medical personnel have either resigned or deserted their work stations leading to the closure of 20 medical facilities.”
And in the second attack that targeted the quarry workers, the governor said it was a calculated move to deal a blow to the development projects in the county.
“They have attacked and killed quarry workers because they know by doing so they will cripple all the development efforts of our county. The tarmac road construction has stopped. The construction of the heavy capital projects such as Moi Stadium, the County Hotel, the County Headquarters and the County Assembly have all been stopped because most of the workers are non-locals. This translates to total sanctions of life in Mandera and we must say enough is enough,” he said adding that his administration would put to stop the security menace by complementing the security investment in the county spearheaded by the national government.
On radicalization of youth, the governor said time has come for the people of Mandera to accept the presence of Shabab sympathizers within them that furnish the militants with the intel to strike.
“It is only if we acknowledge the existence of a very serious problem such as the one facing us that we will be prepared to deal with the problem. We have all been pointing fingers at only Alshabab and to Somalia throughout the years. We have refused to accept that our children and families have been greatly affected by radicalization. Now we are threatened very seriously by the terrorists and we cannot afford to be in that state of denial anymore. We must accept very firmly that radicalization is here with us and is gradually taking over our societies in this country. We must deal with this problem together. You cannot fix a problem that you have refused to acknowledge its existence. Our society has been affected by terror cells,” he retorted.