Independence party Kanu has hatched a plan to tame Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo as it seeks to protect its influence in the region, which is seen as its last frontier.
The plan, sources say, involves pitting Prof Lonyangapuo against his absentee deputy Dr Nicholas Atudonyang.
Prof Lonyangapuo, the only Kanu governor in the country, has not been on good terms with the party bigwigs, who he accuses of interfering with the affairs of his county.
He has specifically fingered secretary-general Nick Salat whom he says has no right to interfere with the party leaders in his county. Last week Governor Lonyangapuo said he has formed a new party that he will use to defend his seat in the 2022 General Election.
With Senator Samuel Poghisio said to be uninterested in the governor seat, the party wants Dr Atudonyang, a neurosurgeon based in the United States, to go head to head with Prof Lonyangapuo.
On the sidelines, Pokot South MP David Pkosing sees this as an aggression against the community and has insisted that he, together with Prof Lonyangapuo, will lead the formation of a party to front the rights of the Pokot community.
Despite not being on the ground – having been away since he was elected in 2017 –Dr Atudonyang has put together a strong team of mobilisers to spearhead his 2022 gubernatorial bid.
He has also been sending his emissaries to represent him in all public functions and make donations in fundraisers.
Last month, Mr Poghisio and the deputy governor were photographed together after the senator made a trip to the United State, fuelling the belief that the two are working together in regards to next year’s polls.
Dr Atudonyang has accused his boss of failing to deliver on his promises to the residents ofthe county.
“He has a bad strategy and he cannot force things.... There is no one working hard to bring him down. There is a lot of politics going on and he has not taken control. I will return after the Covid-19 pandemic. I will come to the ground to fix some things. Let him follow the law,” Dr Atudonyang said of his boss.
He added that he has on several occasions advised the governor on issues pertaining to the county, but he has been ignored.
“If things don't work out, he has to find someone to blame,” he said.
On his part, Prof Lonyangapuo has accused his deputy of sabotage. Expressing regret over his long-standing defence of Dr Atudonyang, he said his deputy has been plotting to undermine his leadership.
“We have been thinking he has problems and is about to come back but he is working to frustrate the county. We will not allow threats,” Prof Lonyangapuo said recently.
Late last year Senator Poghisio, hosted Kanu leader Gideon Moi and other leaders in Ortum for a fundraiser to support over 40 women groups. During the event, Mr Poghisio said West Pokot was Kanu’s stronghold and questioned the governor’s absence at the meeting, which was attended by hundreds of the party’s supporters.
“Kanu is now split because of the bad behaviour of Mr Poghisio. We strongly condemn such uncouth behaviour, “said Prof Lonyangapuo recently.
The senator hit back saying that Prof Lonyangapuo was only playing theatrics after failing to work for the Pokot.