General Ogola was in high spirits at Cheptulel Boys High School in West Pokot

Gen Francis Ogolla

The late Chief of Defence Forces, General Francis Ogolla.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Locals who attended the meeting at Cheptulel Boys High School in West Pokot County have said that Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla looked jovial.

"General Ogolla was very jovial and he said he would come back when the renovations were completed. He encouraged parents to take their children to school," said James Koitilo, Cheptulel Boys High School principal.

Mr Koitilo told Nation. Africa that the chopper carrying General Ogolla was the first to land in the institution. He then met KDF officers on the ground for a briefing before heading to the tent after signing the visitor’s book.  

"The master of ceremonies, the Chesegon Assistant County Commissioner Naftali Korir, welcomed me to speak, then I welcomed the Sub County Director of Education, the Assistant County Commissioner and General Ogolla to speak," he says.

The KDF boss assured the residents that the renovation would be completed soon.

He says Gen. Ogolla then went to one of the classrooms to commission the renovation.  

He said that the KDF boss then commissioned the renovation in one of the classrooms.

Mr Koitilo said that more than 50 Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers had been camping at the school for a week. They had taken sand and cement to the school for the renovation of the classrooms. He said the chopper carrying General Ogolla was the first to take off.

"We just watched the helicopter take off," he says, adding that it did not go any higher.

Mr Musa Kariwoi, another resident who attended the meeting, said that General Ogolla, who was very happy, said that he was heading to Eldoret.   

He was in a hurry and we didn't even say the closing prayers for the meeting, but he was just fine," said Mr Kariwoi.

“General Ogolla encouraged the boys to work hard at school so that they can be like him," he says.

 "He greeted the boys and encouraged them to work hard and take over from them when they retire," says Tito Lopuriang, a resident of Cheptulel.

Mr Lopuriang said that the function did not last long as the KDF officers had another meeting elsewhere.

 "We were not allowed to go near the KDF team. The helicopter stayed where they had landed. We didn't go near when the general was talking to his soldiers. After we saw the smoke from a distance, the security team on the ground turned on the locals, thinking that bandits might have brought down the helicopter, but the DDC intervened," he says.