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Divisions emerge ahead of Garissa BBI rally today

By Abdimalik Ismail Hajir | February 23rd 2020
Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji.

North Eastern leaders yesterday said the region stands to benefit if their proposals are taken into consideration in the Building Bridges Initiatives (BBI) report.

Speaking during a delegates meeting ahead of today’s BBI rally in Garissa, the leaders called for action on historical injustices, implementation of affirmative action for health and education as well support for counties.

The leaders, drawn from Garissa, Wajir and Mandera counties promised to use the rally to call for action on insecurity and deployment of teachers.

But Garissa Township MP and National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale did not attend the meeting. Last week, he ruled out discussions on BBI unless the State addresses insecurity and deployment of teachers. 

“BBI is a wind that will sweep away anybody who dares to obstruct it, we must not give ultimatums to the government but have our issues addressed in a sober way,” said Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji who is also BBI task force national chairman.

Mr Haji, who will attend the rally in his capacity as Garissa Senator, assured that the teachers issue and insecurity will soon be addressed following an appointment with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday.

Governor Ali Korane regretted that insecurity has negatively affected the region and vowed to press for that to be addressed. He exuded confidence that BBI will address issues arising from decades of marginalisation and under-development in the region. The 2010 Constitution has ensured development in the region but still there are many gaps that we expect to be filled by the BBI,” said the governor. Wajir Senator Abdullahi Ali said they oppose proposals to devolve security saying this could fuel inter-clan skirmishes in North Eastern region and give birth to clan militia. He called for affirmative action to address education challenges by allowing students with D+ and C- grades to enroll in teachers training colleges.

Yesterday, Duale said he fully supports the BBI but added he would only attend rallies organised by his party leaders, President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. He said as chair of leaders from the pastoralist areas, he will presenting his views before BBI team on Tuesday.

Wajir Woman Rep Fatuma Gedi said solution to the region’s challenges cannot be achieved by giving ultimatums to the government. She said women will root for inclusivity and equal sharing of resources.

The leaders said they will support powerful prime minister with two deputies. The meeting was attended by MPs Abdi Omar Shurie, Dr Mohamed Dahiye, Abdikarim Osman, Rashid Kassim, Kulow Maalim, Aden Keynan, MCAs among other. 

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