After four years away, Atudonyang tries to unseat Lonyangapuo

West Pokot Deputy Governor Nicholas Atudonyang during the KANU Party's manifesto launch at Kabarnet Gardens on March 9, 2022. [David Gichuru,Standard]

West Pokot Deputy Governor Nicholas Atudonyang is back after missing in action for four years.

He is seeking to replace his boss Governor John Lonyangapuo in the August polls.

Former Governor Simon Kachapin of UDA, who was defeated in 2017, is also in the race.

Speaking during a TV interview on Sunday night, Mr Atudonyang disputed claims that he had neglected his duties after he chose to work in Texas, where he is a medical doctor.

Dr Atudonyang said despite being away for four years, he has never abdicated his responsibilities.

“I reached a working arrangement with my boss and it was more beneficial to the people of West Pokot, despite being far away.” Dr Atudonyang added that he was not getting his salary but still played his role. He said the county saved public funds which would have been spent running his office. Instead, the medic said, the cash was diverted to hiring more staff and improving the bursary kitty.

“The cost of running my office is the lowest compared to other deputy governors’ offices across the country. We have too many offices and too many salaried employees,” Dr Atudonyang said.

Asked whether he will resign since he is running against his boss, the medic said he wouldn’t. Dr Atudonyang added that no one has tabled an impeachment motion against him.

“People are satisfied with the way I am doing my duties. My people are happy with the sacrifices I have made for them. If they were not, they had all the available means of removing me from office,” he said.

Dr Atudonyang said there is no bad blood between him and governor Lonyangapuo, despite being in different political parties while both still holding their respective offices.

The deputy governor is set to re-energise Kanu in West Pokot ahead of the August election.

“I will be flying the Kanu flag and we plan to field candidates in all the 20 wards,” he said.

In 2018, Mr Lonyangapuo defended him before the Senate, saying the county benefitted from his working in the US.