Leaders from Northern Kenya led by treasury CS Ukur Yatani on Monday resolved to support ODM leader Raila Odinga’s presidential bid in next year’s general elections.
In their resolutions that were read by former Wajir governor Ahmed Abdullahi, the leaders unanimously agreed to support the ODM leader.
“We are cognizant of the unique problems that stem from the pre-independence periods and our geography as a region including marginalization, insecurity, aridity leading to droughts and flooding, poor infrastructure, insufficient access to opportunities for education, poverty and famine, among others,” the resolution read.
“In this regard, we reaffirm our support for the efforts by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Raila Odinga to unite the country as a prerequisite for national development and we will make efforts to replicate the efforts in our counties,” added the resolutions.
Abdullahi said they have resolved to unite as a region and affirm their support for Odinga as the next President noting that the support is pegged on his past and current policy positions that they said would take care of the socio-economic aspirations of the region, pastoralists and ASAL communities in general.
Speaking at the forum where Raila met delegates from Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit and Isiolo counties, Yatani said that the region will fully support Odinga through the UPYA movement.
“We have unanimously resolved to offer you our support as leaders and residents of Northern region. We want to assure you that we will walk with you throughout this journey until we make sure that we deliver the seat,” Yatani said.
Garissa Governor Ali Korane said that Odinga had all along remained consistent in the country’s political struggles for democratic change.
Korane said that the region and their leaders might have their own clan issues to deal with, but was quick to add that it won’t stand in their way to seek for vote from the residents.
Addressing the delegates, Raila said that he had stood with the region for decades noting that he has always meant good for the region.
The ODM leader promised to upscale the School Feeding Programme to maximize students’ retention and completion of school as well as initiate Water- for- schools Programmes to have all schools in the region connected to a water system.
“We will pursue affirmative action programs that force the government take over the provision of modern infrastructure and items like tents in case of mobile schools, solar power books, desks, toilets and sanitation from the shoulders of pastoralist parents and their children,” he added.
Present were Wajir Governor Ahmed Mukhtar, Mohamed Kuti (Isiolo) and Mandera Deputy Governor Mohamed Arai.
Others included MPs Abdikarim Osman (Fafi), Sophia Abdinoor (Ijara), Mohamed Hire (Lagdera), Mohamed Dahiye (Dadaab), Bashir Abdullahi (Mandera North), Ahmed Bashane (Tarbaj), Ahmed Abdisalan (Wajir North), Aden Haji (Mandera West) Yussuf Hasan (Kamukunji) Tatuma Gedi (Wajir women rep), CAS education Hassan Noor and former Isiolo Governor Godhana Dhoyo among others.