The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has cut links with some disgruntled aspirants in Mandera and instead approved those who lost in the Jubilee Party nominations.
Among those affected by the new development include Mr Musdaf Hussein Abdullahi who had been picked as a running mate for Mr Hassan Noor Hassan, the ODM gubernatorial candidate in Mandera.
Also rejected by ODM is Ms Dekha Ali Khala, the party’s aspirant for the Mandera East parliamentary seat, and Ms Fatuma Somo who was eyeing the county woman representative’s position.
Speaking to Nation.Africa, ODM National Elections Board Chairperson Catherine Mumma confirmed the replacement of the three aspirants.
“Our ODM candidate for the Mandera East parliamentary seat is Mr Hussein Weytan Mohamed Abdirahman and not Ms Dekha Khala,” Ms Mumma said by phone.
Mr Mohamed Hussein Ali alias Mohamed Qaras replaced Mr Abdullahi was replaced as Mr Hassan’s running mate.
Trouble began in the ODM Mandera team immediately Jubilee nominated Mr Adan Mohamed, a former Cabinet secretary, as its candidate in the gubernatorial race.
Supported ODM candidate
Immediately they lost the Jubilee ticket, Senator Mohamed Maalim Mohamud and Mr Faisal Abdirahman threw their weight behind the ODM candidate.
Senator Mohamud, who was cleared by IEBC to defend his seat as an independent candidate, offered his running mate to Mr Hassan of ODM, displacing Mr Abdullahi.
He also offered Mr Hussein Weytan to run for the Mandera East MP’s seat and Ms Ubah Abdi Ibrahim, alias Ubah Gedi, for woman representative.
Mr Weytan lost the Jubilee ticket to Mr Abdikadir Sheikh, a former Mandera County Assembly speaker.
Both Ms Khala and Mr Weytan had been cleared by IEBC as ODM candidates for Mandera East.
Mr Weytan had been cleared on May 29 only for Ms Khala to be cleared the following day.
She had moved to the High Court which had declared her the valid aspirant nominated by ODM.
Immediately after clearing Ms Khala, Mandera East Returning Officer Mohamed Olow announced that he had revoked the nomination of Mr Hussein Weytan.
“I cleared Mr Weytan before I received a court ruling declaring Ms Khala as the valid ODM aspirant. We have revoked the certificate given to Mr Weytan,” Mr Olow said on Monday last week.
But when reached for comment after ODM declared Mr Weytan as its candidate, Mr Olow could not give a clear answer as to whom between the two is recognised by IEBC.
He simply said a valid candidate will be known immediately the clearance of aspirants is done.
On Monday, Justice Abida Ali Aroni, sitting at the Garissa High Court, dismissed Mr Abdullahi’s petition against Mr Hassan.
Mr Hassan had dropped Mr Abdullahi as his running mate in favour of Mr Mohamed Qaras from the team that lost in the Jubilee nominations.
Justice Aroni ruled that Mr Hassan was at liberty to nominate his deputy as provided for by Article 180 (5) of the Constitution.
The section states that each candidate for election as a county governor shall nominate a person who is qualified for nomination as county governor as a candidate for deputy governor.
After protesting her replacement at the onset of the clearance exercise, Ms Fatuma Somo went silent and paved way for Ms Uba Gedi to be cleared to carry the ODM flag in the woman representative’s race.
While commenting on political substitutions in the ODM camp, Mr Hassan attributed the changes to political dynamics.
“Politics has its own dynamics and one has to stay on the winning side. You get into agreements that will hand you a win and that is exactly what I did for my camp,” he said.
He added, “Creating a winning team is what matters and that is exactly what I have done. I accepted aspirants who lost in the Jubilee nominations so that I can have a strong team that, together, we shall win. ”
Mr Hassan, a former Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Education, urged his supporters to maintain peace as campaigns kicked off across the country.
“We have faced hurdles set by our opponents as they tried to block our candidature but we have overcome all that and have been cleared. We are a peace loving team and we need to maintain that as we roll out our campaigns,” he said.
Mr Hassan is making a second bid in the race for the top county seat after losing to Governor Ali Roba in 2017.
“It remains clear we won the 2017 elections but our victory was denied. We are back and determined to uplift livelihoods in Mandera,” he said.
A hopeful Mr Hassan maintained that the public still has confidence in him and that he will be voted in just like in 2017.