Nairobi County Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Guyo has dropped his bid for the Embakasi Central MP seat and trained his guns on the Isiolo governor seat ahead of the August 9 general elections.
Shortly after his shock announcement on Saturday, Guyo was endorsed by the incumbent governor Mohammed Kuti and his Sekuye clan of the larger Borana community in a move set to change the political dynamics of the Isiolo gubernatorial race.
“After consultation with my people, I have decided that I will vie for the Isiolo governor’s seat. I believe I have what it takes to take our county to the next level," said Guyo.
The majority leader will now battle it with former Isiolo Governor Godana Doyo who has also expressed interest in reclaiming the coveted seat.
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Speaking to The Standard, Guyo explained that the shift in goalposts was warranted by a deal brokered by the region's elders and which will see Kuti not defend his seat in the forthcoming polls.
The veteran politician who has served as Kayole's Matopeni/Spring Valley councillor and later MCA for 15 years, said it was also unanimous that he was the best bet to turn around the fortunes of Isiolo county given his track record in the last 15 years in both Nairobi and Isiolo counties.
Guyo, who has the ear of President Uhuru Kenyatta, stated that he will be seeking the Isiolo County's topmost seat on a Jubilee party ticket under the Azimio la Umoja Movement.
“I am ready for the party nominations in which I am confident I will win and I urge my competitors to brace for the tough political duel that is ahead of us," added Guyo.
Guyo was first elected MCA in 2007 as a 21-year-old and has served for 3 terms, rising to the position of Majority Leader in the Assembly.
He now says he has what it takes to seek promotion to the Governor position with four months to the general polls.
He further pledged to ensure there was peace in the county and would offer equal opportunities for the people of Isiolo once elected into office.
Governor Kuti who has a political career spanning 20 years and has served in different capacities, said he dropped his re-election bid due to ill health.
The county boss has been unwell since December last year and has not appeared in public for more than three months until Saturday.
“...Unfortunately just recently I have had some health challenges and I strongly feel this is my time to hand over the leadership," said Kuti.
Adding that clan arithmetics and negotiated democracy had heralded Guyo to be Isiolo county's flag bearer.
“All of us have agreed in unison that we are backing Guyo who will continue with the leadership of unity and not division and one that gives opportunities to all," Kuti said.
“I urge that all communities in Isiolo to receive him the way they have received me in my years of service and ensure that come August, he is the next governor."
The move by Guyo now throws a spanner in the works in Isiolo politics and jolts the Embakasi central MP race.
Initially, Guyo had declared interest in the Embakasi Central MP seat and had embarked on a spirited campaign to unseat the incumbent Benjamin Gathiru alias Major Donk.
Mr Gathiru had also expressed interest in defending his seat under Deputy President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.
The race had pitted Guyo and Gathiru -who were the front runners and one time allies in the ruling Jubilee party.
In his quest for the parliamentary seat, Guyo had also been endorsed by the Ali Jilo-led Borana Council of Elders together with the Kikuyu Council of Elders (Kiama Kiama).
Guyo's exit from the Embakasi central seat race has now bolstered the chances of MP Gathiru retaining his seat in August polls.