How Wajir clan elders loyal to two political brokers plan to subvert the will of the people

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‘’We are tired of your political dishonesty’’ were the words echoed by the majority of the residents of Wajir, a jab directed at CAS Environment Mohamed Elmi who talked about the current state of Wajir county government.

In an iterview with one of the local FM Station, Elmi accused the current regime of wanton theft and run- away corruption, he also publicly apologised to the residents for spearheading the election of Mohamed Abdi who he said has failed to deliver on their expectations.

But netizens were quick to read between the lines terming the former Tarbaj MPs utterances as “political dishonesty” crafted by him and his powerful colleague now that 2022- election is fast approaching.

Elmi who is a former minister has been allegedly accused of siphoning funds meant for the stalled Wajir sewerage project during his tenure. The success of the project would have kept the town environment safe and prevented the spread of water born diseases.

His utterances were also viewed as the Regrouping of the political power brokers whose intent is to disown the current governor and level the ground for their 2022- candidate. The utterances were also were best classified by local pundits as the cleansing season for the BIG BOYS.

In the 2017- election, the same group were at the forefront in endorsing the current Wajir Governor, Mohamed Abdi.

They conspired with some selected clan elders loyal to them to even overturn a decision made by one of the most powerful council of elders in the Degodia clan, the Fai sultanate , a 15 member ugasses committee and their Sultan who jointly endorsed the candidacy of one Ugass Shiekh, a prominent businessmen and fronted him to fly the gubernatorial flag of the Degodia clan.

Much as the sultanate process was seen as fair and democratic, it did not favour women seeking political seats. A  case in hand is where the former Wajir MP Ms. Fatuma Ibrahim bid was rejected.

In what looked like a scripted movie, a local reconciliation commission led by a renown elder from Tarbaj came out of the blue. The commission named DRC was formed purposely to overturn the sultanate ruling.

That has been achieved and the candidacy of Ugass shiekh, the sultanate favourite candidate for the gubernatorial position bewildered into the thin air. He later stepped down from the race.

Little did we know that his political demise was discussed by the same duo who pushed Mohamed Abdi to focus on gubernatorial position with or without the endorsement of either the Degodia clan or the Sultanate.

The same men are believed to be behind the formation of different political outfit in Wajir like the Degodia Seven (D7), a union of minority tribes which was ostensibly brought together to vote against the then governor defending his seat.

The Degodia clan elders have also been the biggest stumbling block of Abdullahi’s re-election, a man nicknamed as the Father of Devolution, one who steered Wajir into a greater heights. Abdullahi has transformed Wajir from a dusty village to one of the most developed county in the Country since the inception of DEVOLUTION.

Abdullahi regime successfully managed to initiate different projects among them; The construction of  25- kilometre Road , one of the first on it’s kind in the county after sixty years of marginalisation, a state of the art county headquarters building resembling Tanzania’s state house, a Modern Slaughterhouse and a livestock market just to name but a few.

During 2017- elections, Abdullahi failed to maneovour the very- important Degodia elders who were loyal to the two political brokers, majority were either lured with money or a false hope that they will reap big in the next government.

On 8th, August, 2017, Mohamed Abdi won the gubernatorial election with a big margin, the result was challenged in a court of law. After a long push and pull in the corridors of Justice, injustice was served to the residents of Wajir after the apex court upheld the election of Mohamed Abdi as the legit Governor.

Many of the elders who led in overturning the decision of the sultanate are a beneficiary of the current regime led by Mohamed Abdi. The leader of the commission’s son was awarded with the coveted Chief officer position. Others were also appointed as advisors.

The Council of elders will again in 2022 be used by the cartels to subvert the will of the people.

Going back to utterances made by Elmi, it’s an undeniable fact that there is big crisis in the county, the residents were coupled by three disasters, the Covid-19 pandemic, Drought and a failed government. Wajir Town has turned to be a ghost town, the biggest referral hospital has been closed and the drought is extremely ravaging, and the regime is busy doing PR stunt on a tarmac road which was a project initiated by the pioneer governor.

But then again its awkward that the power brokers than addressing the current crisis are re-energizing and planning on how to sell their 2022- gubernatorial candidate, their plan is to incite the residents against the current governor, brand him Former Govenor like they did in 2017- elections.

After they achieve that, they will came up with plans to limit the re-election chances of the former governor. There are rumours that they had already crafted a WIN- WIN Strategy and forged a deal with two candidates who both hail from the former governor’s backyard, one is a current CEC Member serving in Nairobi county and the other is a retired teacher and a humanitarian, the idea is to sell the narrative that Abdullahi is a society reject and divide the votes of his stronghold.

So my parting short is; The current crisis will remain the same, or even get worse as long as we elect leaders based on tribe. I also doubt if the current- clan system of Democracy and the so- called council of elders will again allow anyone of us to directly vote for our preferred candidate in as far the gubernatorial position is concerned. Rer- Wajeer can choose their leaders wisely when there is a free and fair process, free from the cartels and the clan elders.

I also want to applaud the social media users who have realised that that the social networks is a powerful tool that can be the number one enabler for democracy by creating civic education. By having a better educated voters on Democracy and Good governance would lead to the election of a legitimate government.

Remember, the promulgation of the 2010- constitution gave NEP region a new born baby called DEVOLUTION, which devolved resources and powers and it can better be realised in the grassroots if we elect leaders who have a deep sense of Wajeernimo and not a representative of the power brokers and their loyal clan elders.

By: Mohamed Adow. A resident of Wajir county.

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