Days after Isiolo PNU gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Turibu Maorwe withdrew from the race in favour Jubilee’s Abdi Ibrahim Guyo, tens of his foot soldiers from the Ameru community have decamped to former governor Godana Doyo’s camp. Mr Doyo is seeking a comeback as an independent candidate.
Mr Turibu’s campaign secretariat, led by chairperson Japhet Muthamia, said the politician did not consult them before making the decision, which they said they learnt of during last Saturday’s Azimio campaign rally in Isiolo town.
Mr Muthamia said had the PNU candidate consulted them, they would have advised him to stay put and support Mr Doyo if at all he felt his chances to clinch the coveted seat were slim.
“His decision to quit from the race and join the other team was personal and does not reflect the position of the community. We feel safe in Mr Doyo’s hands,” he maintained while announcing the move.
Mr Turibu served as chief officer during Mr Doyo’s administration between 2013 and 2017.
Deal brokered by Odinga
The deal, which will see Mr Turibu given a chief administrative secretary’s post should Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga clinch the State House seat in August elections, was announced by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.
CS Munya said that the pact, brokered by Mr Odinga, was to ensure an Azimio candidate gets elected to office as they had established that allowing several of them to the ballot would minimize chances of either of them winning against Mr Doyo, who a week ago got a boost after UDA competitor Hussein Tene dropped his bid in his favour.
Mr Turibu’s Ameru community will benefit with two county executive and three chief officers posts should Mr Guyo get elected while his running mate Ibrahim Mohamed’s Garre community will get one chief officer slot.
Mr Munya, who is the PNU party leader had, before the Azimio rally attended by Senator Fatuma Dullo, woman rep candidate Mumina Bonaya, Isiolo North MP candidate Mwenda Thuranira and Mr Guyo, met the Ameru community and PNU candidates for various elective seats.
Protect community’s interests
While announcing his decision at the meeting, Mr Turibu said it was illogical to proceed to the ballot while chances of clinching the seat were minimal, and told the residents that what was key is having a leader who will protect the community’s interests.
“It is not only by being a governor that I can help you. What benefit will it bring if we proceed to the ballot and lose? If we have a guarantee of seven positions what else do you want? I have accepted the proposal,” he said amid “No” chants from the public.
At the rally, Mr Turibu announced that he joined Mr Guyo’s camp because it was all-inclusive and rallied the Amerus to come out in large numbers on August 9 and vote for the Jubilee candidate whom Governor Mohamed Kuti recently endorsed as his preferred successor.
“I have decided to support Guyo and I ask all of you to vote for him as the next governor,” he told residents at the rally.
Doyo hails gesture
While welcoming Mr Turibu’s campaign team on Sunday, Mr Doyo hailed their gesture saying residents should be allowed to make their decisions without any coercion.
“This is a clear indication that we are winning this election. We have Ameru, Turkana, Samburu, Borana and Somali as well as the minorities on our side,” the former governor said.
Mr Joseph Ngichili, a former councillor from the Turkana community, rallied Isiolo residents behind Mr Doyo’s candidature.
Somali Council of Elders Chairman Shariff Abdullahi hit out at Governor Kuti over what he termed as imposing his project on the residents without consulting them.
“He ran away after failing to deliver and brought a project that he can micromanage. Isiolo residents must make the right decision at the ballot by voting for Mr Doyo to end the suffering we have gone through due to poor leadership,” the elder said.
Mr Doyo and Mr Guyo, who are the frontrunners in the race, have intensified their campaigns across the county as elections draw near. Also in the race is ODM's Halakhe Waqo.
Campaigns are concentrated in Isiolo North constituency with 75 per cent of the county’s 89,504 total votes, with a likelihood that whoever garners more votes in the populous Bulapesa, Wabera, Burat and Kinna wards will carry the day.