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Northern Kenya leaders take on Uhuru over defections

A section of elected leaders from the Somali community rubbished as inconsequential President Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to “buy” opposition-elected leaders in the Northern Kenya region.

Led by Balambala MP Abdikadir Aden, the four MPs, who were joined by Suna East’s Junet Mohamed, accused the Jubilee administration of harassment, coercion and “wholesale buying of leaders” from the region.

“We want to tell the Jubilee government to use its loudmouths in Northern Kenya to bark as much as they want because they have only until August to do so,” Mr Aden said at a press briefing at Serena Hotel in Nairobi.

Mr Mohamed faulted the move by President Kenyatta to host members of different clans from the vast region in State House, a step he said was brewing enmity.

“He should stop this obsession with clans. If he wants to meet people from a county, meet everybody. And do not use Kanu tactics at us, it won’t work,” he said.

Others who addressed the media are Wajir South MP Abdullahi Diriye, his Wajir West counterpart Abdikadir Ore and Wajir Women representative Fatuma Ibrahim.

Last week, Marsabit Governor Ukur Yatani ditched Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) for President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party.

Governor Yatani formed the Frontier Alliance Party, which he said he will use for his re-election, but will back President Kenyatta for the top job.

State House also said that MPs Roba Duba (Moyale), Chachu Ganya (North Horr), Nasra Ibrahim (Women Rep, Marsabit) and Joseph Lekuton (Laisamis) also defected with Mr Yatani.

DISCRIMINATED AGAINST

The leaders said they will not be intimidated into joining Jubilee.

“If some of our leaders have been bought by corrupt money, intimidated by an illegitimate power and made to succumb, we the people must stand up. We will have no one but ourselves to blame if we backed Jubilee today only for it to kill our sons, rape our daughters and women and detain our men tomorrow,” the leaders said in a joint statement Saturday.

They argued that the Jubilee government had, backed by members of the Somali community in the administration, denied locals in the region identity cards, oversaw rampant extrajudicial killings, and execution “in the name of terrorism”.

“Losing a family member to the police has become a way of life in Somali and Muslim dominated counties because the Jubilee regime has decided that Kenyans of Somali origin, by virtue of their faith and names, are terrorists,” the leaders observed.

Mr Diriye said: “They have denied us IDs and then are rounding up the youth for not having the very document they denied them.”

However, President Kenyatta has insisted that his administration had opened up the region for trade and had made it more secure.

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