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Video: Barack Obama ‘simple’ arrival stirs Kisumu

By Kevine Omollo | July 16th 2018

The plane carrying former US President Barack Obama touched down at Kisumu International Airport at 8.17am, stirring the lakeside city.

In his company was his sister Auma Obama and a host of visitors. Ready to receive Obama was Kisumu Governor Prof Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o and his deputy Mathews Owili who were at the airport minutes before 7am.

Activity at the airport was for close to 20 minutes brought to a standstill as hawk-eyed security personnel ensured all was well.

Outside the airport, pockets of residents chanted Obama praises in the hope that he would address them.

Reporters were kept at bay. However, some of them managed to the airport’s parking lot, where they had a close view of the silvery plane carrying Obama.

A section of Kisumu-Busia road, where the airport lies was temporarily closed between Kenya Industrial Training Institute and Otonglo market, probably a radius of 500 metres.

Communications from Prof Nyong’o’s office had earlier indicated that Obama was to have a 10-minute meeting with the governor before proceeding to Kogelo.

Sources within the airport however told the Standard that the meeting did not take place, with Obama exchanging pleasantries with Prof Nyong’o, Owili and Regional Police Commander Leonard Katana who had gone to receive him from the aircraft.

“Obama just came out of the aircraft and exchanged pleasantries with the team from the Governor and the security bosses just at that point before signing the visitors’ book before he left. He did not even get to the VIP section,” said a source.

And by about 8.42am, Nyong’o’s convoy left the airport headed toward Kogelo, with Obama’s convoy following three minutes later.

Residents were however disappointed after Obama failed to make a stop to respond to their waving and chanting.

 “We were even expecting him to wave from the top of his car, if not stopping to greet us,” said Samwel Ochieng.

The residents had  thronged the airport as early as 6am after reports that Obama would arrive in Kisumu in the morning.

Airport workers were kept at a distance stretching their necks to see the convoy sneak it way out of the airport to Busia road en route Siaya.

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