NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9 – The Orange Democratic Movement parliamentary candidate for Wajir West by-election Mohamed Yusuf has withdrawn from the contest.
Instead, he will rally behind Jubilee candidate Mohamed Kolosh.
Yusuf said the decision was arrived at following the intervention by the Degodia clan over fears his candidature would create divisions in the community.
Speaking at Deputy President William Ruto’s Karen residence on Tuesday during a luncheon with leaders from the clan, Yusuf said the decision had nothing to do with ODM.
“I have today withdrawn from the Wajir West parliamentary seat by-election following days of negotiations within our community. ODM had nothing to do with it,” he said.
He noted that the decision was arrived at as a community and believe it is the best way forward.
“This decision has nothing to do with the ODM party, which had earlier given me a direct ticket to contest the seat,” he explained.
Eldas MP Adan Keynan said the move would strengthen the clan and unite the people of Wajir.
“We have opted as a community that we cannot be divided along ethnic lines. We will support the Jubilee candidate because we are after transforming Wajir,” said Keynan.
He said the region would continue to invest in the leadership of the Jubilee Party because it is an outfit that is informed on policies that would make Kenya better.
According to Ruto, the withdrawal of Prof Yusuf should not be seen as a move to back up the Jubilee candidate but a bold step that would develop Wajir.
“It is not about this or that political candidate but the future of Wajir,” explained Ruto.
The Deputy President observed that for a long time, petty politics had dominated northern parts of Kenya, thereby derailing its development.
“We must bring an end to the marginalisation song. We therefore must define a clear pathway of how to get out of it; let us manage our politics so that it can focus on changing the lives of people,” he said.
Leaders present were Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud, MPs Rashid Kassim (Wajir East), Ahmed Bashane (Tarbaj), nominated senator Farhiya Ali and former Presidential Advisor Abdikadir Mohamed.