The race to unseat Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti is gaining momentum with community elders keen to endorse their preferred candidates before the end of the year.
The Borana community, which is the largest in the county, has already announced that the ongoing process to pick preferred candidates for various positions will be completed in a month’s time.
Borana Council of Elders Chairman Abdullahi Gonjobe said they had resolved to pick a gubernatorial candidate from the community’s largest Warjida clan, which former governor Godana Doyo hails from, and which has four other candidates for the same position.
The others include Hussein Tene, Mohammed Huka Jaldesa and Alio Wario.
Sources say the elders have asked the candidates to agree on one of them who will later be presented to the council for endorsement.
“We have sat and agreed that we pick a governorship candidate from the Warjida clan, Jirma community. We will have by December 30 named the candidate and those for other positions,” Mr Gonjobe said after a three-day-meeting in Kinna that brought together more than 100 elders from across the county.
Mr Doyo has higher chances of being picked due to his vast experience and is currently the strongest challenger of incumbent Governor Kuti.
The elders had met to iron out differences between candidates vying for same positions and reach a consensus so that one is fronted and to discuss community issues such as development and coexistence with other communities.
Mr Gonjobe said the community will also field candidates for Isiolo North and Isiolo South MPs, senator and woman rep positions and get into alliances with other communities.
“We are in talks with other communities (on alliances) but the process is still in its early stages. We will share the details of power sharing later,” he said.
Waqo skips meeting
Addressing journalists in Gubadida, the elders lashed out at Former EACC boss Halakhe Waqo — who hails from Karayu clan and who has declared interest in dethroning Dr Kuti — for skipping the meeting despite being invited.
Some of the elders, who are part of the Borana Governing Council, have already split from the group and declared their support for Mr Waqo whom they say is the most suited to battle it out with Governor Kuti and are of the view of trying out fresh blood instead of “recycling” Mr Doyo.
But Mr Gonjobe said the splinter group had no blessings from the council and, therefore, cannot speak on behalf of the community.
“We had invited several leaders but one of them (Waqo) refused to come. He has self-endorsed himself and the five elders who are supporting him cannot speak on behalf of the Borana Governing Council,” Mr Gonjobe maintained.
All eyes are on a pending announcement by the elders but the current scenario presents a likelihood of Isiolo North MP Hassan Odha and Woman Rep Rehema Jaldesa being endorsed to seek re-election with Devolution CAS Abdul Bahari getting the nod to vie for senator’s seat.
Governor Kuti and Mr Waqo have already been endorsed for the seat by their Sakuye and Karayu clans respectively.
Businessman Hudson Kinyua was early this month given the greenlight to vie for the Isiolo governorship by some elders from his Ameru community.