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Raila, Nanok face off over BBI in church function

ODM leader Raila Odinga, Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok and Maina Kamanda at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Lodwar on Sunday. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

ODM Leader Raila Odinga clashed with his former vice-chair, Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok, as he concluded his three-day Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) popularisation tour of the county.

It was a face-off between the two leaders at St Augustine Catholic Church in Lodwar, where they attended mass, with Nanok taking on Raila for not agreeing on a multiple-choice referendum. 

Mr Nanok, who was elected on an ODM ticket, held a parallel rally on Saturday, dismissing the BBI, while the former Premier was in the county drumming up support for a law change.

As Raila was in Kakuma in Turkana East, Nanok was in Lowarang’ek in the neighboring Turkana North, where he discredited BBI, saying it would not guarantee increased resources to the marginalised

And yesterday, when the duo met during the church service, it was a face-off.

Nanok told Raila, who is also the BBI architect, that he was ready to join another political outfit, claiming that views by Turkana residents and leaders were not captured in the document that seeks to have amendment of the 2010 Constitution.

He said he had a problem with revenue sharing, as proposed in the BBI, claiming his county would lose through a sharing formula that intends to use population in revenue sharing.

He said efforts to have a multiple choice referendum and an assurance that equalisation fund would be released under the amended constitution fell on “deaf ears”.

“If you can help us find how the counties benefitting from equalisation funds are catered for in this process then we will support you in passing the BBI. I speak on behalf of the people of Turkana,” he told the former Prime Minister.

Nanok warned that he was ready to bolt out of ODM if the Turkana community continued to be ignored in decision making. “I am a man with a political stand. If things go on this way, I will go elsewhere because political interests are critical for the community (Turkana). I wish you and your team very well. They will do their best and we will also do our best to represent the interests of our people,” Nanok said.

He said the BBI constitutional changes were not popular in Turkana, noting that leaders from the county would not go against the wishes of their constituents.

“Even in the BBI referendum, I will lead in the forward process to make sure we make the right decision,” he said.

But Raila quickly dismissed Nanok’s remarks, saying the governor had joined forces with political leaders with  questionable characters and told Nanok to tell his Turkana people the truth about BBI.

“If you want to oppose BBI, then come out clearly and we face one another in the ballot. You (Nanok) are my friend, and if you had a problem, why didn’t you come to me instead of joining Tangatanga?” he said.

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