New York, Tuesday
Relatives of President Barack Obama claim in a new book his father may have been murdered.
The claims are contained in The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family by Peter Firstbrook, a former BBC producer and director. It was published in the UK by Preface Publishing.
Firstbrook quotes Mama Sarah Obama as saying of the death in 1982 of her stepson: “We think there was foul play there.”
Mr Barack Obama Snr’s supposed death in a car accident after he had been drinking may have been staged as a cover-up for murder, Mama Sarah Obama told Firstbrook.
At the time, the family doubted the official version of Mr Obama Snr’s death, “but we just had to leave it like that because the government then was very ruthless,” Mama Sarah Obama says in this account.
Suspicions are also raised by Mr Charles Oluoch, a cousin of the US president.
Mr Oluoch, who viewed Mr Obama Snr’s body at a Nairobi mortuary soon after the accident, says in the book: “I am not a medical doctor, but the way we saw Barack lying there, he didn’t look like somebody who was involved in an accident.”
Mama Sarah Obama remembers that her stepson’s body “was never broken, his vehicle was not badly crashed ... Not even much blood was seen.”
Other Kenyan sources interviewed by Firstbrook, including Mr Obama Snr’s sister Hawa Auma Obama, also expressed doubts about the circumstances of the death.
Mr Patrick Ngei, a friend of the Harvard-educated economist, tells the author: “Obama didn’t die out of pure accident.”
But Firstbrook’s book does not endorse these theories. He says of the allegation that Obama Snr was murdered: “Proving it more than 25 years after his death would be impossible.”
Carol Elkins, a Harvard historian, is reported in a blog as implying that it is quite possible that Mr Obama Snr did die as a drunk driver. Ms Elkins, described in the blog as having “excellent sources” in Kenya, says Mr Obama Snr was “a serious, fall-down alcoholic”.