Four hopefuls eyeing the Isiolo gubernatorial seat in the 2017 polls to run against incumbent Godana Doyo have been shortlisted.
An early campaign fever has gripped both Isiolo and Marsabit counties.
Various clans in the majority Borana community have met this month in both counties with aspirants expressing interest in various elective positions in the forthcoming General Election.
However, the position that has generated the most interest is that of the governor in both Isiolo and Marsabit, whose governors are currently Mr Doyo and Ukur Yattani, respectively.
In Isiolo, Borana’s largest clan is having an ongoing meeting on the western bank of Ewaso Nyiro River in Merti district to pick its flag-bearer for the gubernatorial position to challenge Doyo. The meeting began last Thursday and is expected to end today.
In the March 2013 polls, Doyo (United Republican Party), then considered a political greenhorn and who hails from Heilu in Moyale, Marsabit County, turned tables against front runner Abdul Bahari (The National Alliance) by capturing the seat by a margin of 2,000 votes.
This time round, the clan has gone into early preparations to capture the seat. Last month, they met at Garba-Tula where they resolved to forward a candidate to challenge Doyo.
The agenda of the ongoing Merti forum where revered elders and top professionals are in attendance is to pick the flag-bearer.
Those eyeing the seat are Abdul Bahari, chairman of Tana and Athi River Development Authority and TNA point-man in the region, Adan Kabelo, a non-governmental organisation executive, and Adan Bika, a top official of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development based in Djibouti. Others are Isiolo Assembly Speaker Mohammed Tubi and former Kenya Airways employee Ali Dida.
Yesterday, elder Jarso Mokku said four aspirants had been selected, adding that elders would pick one by the end of the day.
“We left out Ali Dida because he was only interested in the Isiolo North parliamentary seat, which the clan is not interested in,” said Mr Mokku.
The clan also got support from the Turkana, Meru and Samburu communities who sent their leaders to the meeting. Intrigues and fist-fighting characterised the first two days of the meeting where delegates resolved that the elders would meet separately to pick the candidate.
“The meeting at one point turned chaotic. It’s true folks fought, but the elders have intervened and the matter is now in their hands,” said a source.
“We have five candidates here. Three of them have already been ruled out because they supported and voted for Doyo. It’s a two-horse race, the others are donkeys,” said a source who is among a 40-member council with veto powers.
Sources indicated that former Isiolo North MP Charfano Mokku, who lost the senatorial seat in 2013 to Mohammed Kuti had quit politics and wanted all those who contested in the past and lost to step down.