Former Isiolo Governor Godana Doyo has told off his gubernatorial opponent Abdi Ibrahim Guyo for associating him with violence, maintaining that he was a peace-loving Kenyan.
Mr Doyo, who is seeking a comeback as an independent candidate, called on security agencies to take legal action against the leader, saying his utterances could fuel hatred and create divisions ahead of next Tuesday’s elections.
“I was the governor for five years and Isiolo residents can attest there was no violence during my term. Our people have never fought because of elections,” he said.
County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding had said that some armed militants had fled Marsabit, where a security operation is underway, and sought refuge in Isiolo.
Commenting on those remarks, Mr Guyo said elections could not be won through violence and demanded that the criminals be flushed out.
“Even if they come with the most sophisticated weapons, they will still lose in the elections. There is no cause for alarm for the public because the situation is being handled by security organs,” said Mr Guyo, comments that were construed to be directed at Mr Doyo, his main competitor in the race.
Though he did not provide names, Mr Omoding said the authorities suspected the militants’ actions were politically instigated. He assured the public that adequate security would be provided during the August 9 elections.
“We are pursuing the criminals who intelligence reports show want to disrupt peace as we head to the elections and appeal to the public to volunteer information to help in making arrests,” he said, downplaying an earlier National Cohesion and Integration Commission report that listed Isiolo among potential election violence hotspots.
During a meeting in Kambi Garba, the pioneer governor criticised Mr Guyo, saying he was propagating unsubstantiated information instead of furnishing the police with crucial leads and evidence linking any of the leaders or communities to the reported militants.
“The security team should take action against him (Guyo) and have him record a statement and share the evidence he has to help in the ongoing investigations,” Mr Doyo said at the meeting where the Garre community endorsed his comeback bid.
Mr Doyo, who was flanked by his running mate Omar Hassan and Senate candidate Nuh Mohammed Ibrahim, committed to peaceful campaigns and urged Isiolo residents to remain united and shun leaders out to divide them for political gain.
He said that if elected, his government will prioritise promoting access to quality healthcare, increased water coverage, youth and women’s empowerment, improved roads and completion of ongoing projects.
The candidate, who a recent Tifa survey showed was leading with a popularity rating of 45 percent against Mr Guyo’s 34 percent, exuded confidence that he would defeat the Jubilee competitor.
Mr Hassan said their administration would support youth and women’s groups by ensuring 30 percent of jobs and contracts are awarded to them.
“We will safeguard the interests of all communities, promote peace and tranquillity in the county for the realisation of more development,” he said, asking their competitors to engage in issue-based politics.
Mr Nuh asked the police to ensure that all voters are protected so that they can comfortably exercise their democratic right on August 9.