Abdullahi rallies voters to back his bid, urges politicians to respect elders’ verdict

Former Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi claims politicians have commercialised and increasingly abused the system at the expense of the communities. [Courtesy]

Former Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi has asked individuals from the Somali community seeking elective seats through negotiated democracy to respect the process. 

Speaking on Tuesday during the launch of Friendly primary revision mathematics book by Abdille Adan, Abdullahi said clan nomination has been eroded as the welfare of the people is no longer an agenda when identifying candidates.

“They no longer consider the quality of candidates or the agenda. All that is discussed is what are we going to do as sub-clan,” he said he rallied Wajir residents to support his bid.

Abdullahi, who will face Governor Ahmed Ali Muktar in the August 9 General Election after being endorsed by Mantaan clan and 10 sub-clans of the Degodia community accused politicians of abusing the process for selfish interest.

He claimed politicians have commercialised and increasingly abused the system at the expense of the communities.

“The idea of clan endorsement commonly referred to as negotiated democracy is good, it doesn’t harm but I think the shenanigans of what has happened in the last couple of months will kill the clan endorsement system,” said Abdullahi.

“Despite the process being done in a free, fair and transparent manner, some individuals have disregarded its outcome,” he added.

Various clans and sub-clans in the Northern Kenya region are racing against time to endorse their candidates and share political seats ahead of the 2022 General Election in what is described as negotiated democracy.

In the counties of Isiolo, Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, and Tana River, negotiated democracy through clan politics plays an integral role in endorsing aspirants and sharing political seats, who in most cases end up winning the actual elections.

However, the arrangement has run into headwinds over alleged bias, chauvinism, and interference from a section of the elite threatening the level of trust locals have in the system.

Allegations of elders being bribed by certain candidates and some promised incentives and jobs should certain candidates win elections have emerged.

The former governor now warns that if the rebellion against the elders' decision is not checked, it may erode the confidence in the system.

Abdullahi rallied Wajir voters to back his gubernatorial bid, adding that he had a clear plan and will be a people’s servant if elected on August 9.

Abdullahi revealed he already has the backing of the clan having been endorsed by his immediate clan and at least ten sub-clans living in Wajir County.

“God willing, I will be a candidate for the position of Governor in Wajir County in the August polls after the elders’ verdict,” he said adding that he is not bothered about who was in the race

He vouched for Azimio la Umoja Movement saying ODM leader Raila Odinga is best suited to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta as the next president.