Abduba Dida: I’m what you need

Mohamed Abduba Dida 

Mohamed Abduba Dida has a rare but strong conviction that he will be the occupant of State House after the August 8 General Election.

Once he takes up his new position, he says he will work to restore the honour of humanity and prove that a young man from a marginalised community can become president.

His “strongholds” towards winning the elections are the poor and ordinary Kenyans looking for a new face to represent the presidency.

Dida is convinced he is the one who will deliver the change Kenyans have been yearning for because he has always been a change agent from when he was a teacher at Lenana School.

He says he is a fighter and will not give up despite having lost in the 2013 polls. He is keeping his campaign strategy a secret and will only reveal it at the right time.

Born in Wajir in 1975 to a Borana father and Somali mother, Dida says his childhood was defined by scarcity, continuous migration and desire for things they could ill afford.

Jubilee project

His parents divorced when he was a teenager, and this further sunk them into the mire of poverty. “My childhood was tough. There was nothing good about it. The suffering gave me the motivation to change things,” he says. His bid for presidency began in 2013 under the Alliance for Real Change (ARK) Party.

He was among top students in Wajir who qualified and was admitted at Kagumo College to study Physics and Biology.

Even though he got a thrill from watching chemicals react, memorising the laws of nature and analysing the biological make up of organisms; there were many things that didn’t make sense to him. “I would see the imbalance between the rich and the poor, and it didn’t make sense. I needed answers,” he says.

He also says there were many missing pieces in the puzzle of life that didn’t seem to fit. His pursuit for answers made him appeal for a change of course to study Religion and Philosophy.

Life started making sense to him once he got admission into the class he wanted. “Religion and Philosophy forces you to think. It opened up my world,” he says.

The more he studied, the more he felt he needed to spread what he had learned. He would approach some leaders to share ideas of how he thought they would help bring change but they would laugh it off. This is why he decided to run for presidency.

His opponents have also claimed he is a Jubilee project positioned to scatter Muslim unity and votes.

Political brokers

“What unity. Are they united to begin with?” Posed Dida, saying Muslims are united under the umbrella of political brokers who want to sell them to the highest bidder.

Dida’s presidential bid has also received attacks from those who feel he is always tight-lipped whenever there have been terrorist attacks in the country; when he is expected to speak in one voice with other leaders to condemn such attacks.

“He never talks. Not even a tweet or a voice to stand against the acts of violence,” said a social media user, reacting to the recent attacks in Wajir. Dida says he never talks about terrorism because it is a complex issue that cannot be handled by an individual.

“Terrorism has no religion. Those are hooligans who are out to destroy,” he says.

After college, he was hired as a teacher where he says he always stood up and questioned issues when his colleagues were cowed into silence. “Life has taught me to raise my voice and ask questions, even if it lands me into trouble,” he says.

Dida he is ready to occupy State House, together with his three wives and 13 children. “I will add another wife once I become president,” he says.

Before then, Dida says his focus is on campaigns and strategy on how he will get there.