By Ali Abdi
The nomination of a top NGO official as the Borana candidate for the seat of Marsabit County governor by Ethiopian elders has generated a storm.
Chachu Tadicha, the Ethiopia Save the Children country director, was picked as the flag-bearer of the community in a meeting in Moyale, Ethiopia, after three days of deliberations.
The meeting was attended by Abba Gadha (the Borana traditional ruler) Guyo Gobba and Ethiopia’s Borana Zone administrator, Guyo Kanu Jillo, among others.
But the verdict had been dismissed as an ‘agenda’ by Ethiopian Government to impose a candidate on Kenyan voters by supporters of Moyale MP Mohamud Ali, who was running against Tadicha.
While Tadicha was present, the MP was said to be involved in the burial of fallen ministers.
Elders Abaroba Jattani, Doyo Galgalo and Galma Okotu who represented the MP said his apologies, request for change of venue and postponement of the exercise was rejected by the traditional leaders.
They claimed Tadicha was picked because the MP was absent from the meeting.
‘‘We told them Kenya had lost dignitaries in a plane crash and that the MP was a member of the burial committee,’’ said Jattani.
He continued, ‘‘We also told them the meeting should be held on Kenyan soil as it was a Kenyan affair but this was also rejected.’’
Tadicha’s allies led by politician Ibrahim Dambi dismissed the assertions by Ali’s camp, claiming the MP avoided the meeting because he sensed defeat.
‘‘Both sides had requested the help of the Abba Gadha and Tadicha had been picked fairly. The MP should concede defeat and support the torchbearer,’’ said Mr Dambi. He dismissed as propaganda claims that the event was hijacked by Ethiopian government officials, saying officers played their ‘normal roles’.