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Ukur Yatani finally gets elders' blessings to seek re-election as Marsabit governor

Wednesday December 7 2016

Marsabit Governor Ukur Yatani addresses

Marsabit Governor Ukur Yatani addresses residents of Maikona on December 7, 2016 after he was endorsed by his Gabra community to vie for a second term in the 2017 polls. PHOTO | LUCAS BARASA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

LUCAS BARASA
By LUCAS BARASA
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Marsabit Governor Ukur Yatani has finally been endorsed by elders from his Gabra community to vie for a second term in the 2017 polls.

The community’s Yaa elders gave Mr Yattani the “blessings” after 10 days of consultations in Kalacha.

It was the second time Mr Yatani got the elders’ backing to seek re-election after he was endorsed earlier in June 2016.

Mr Yatani’s rival from the Gabra community, US-consultant Umuro Adano, who disputed the elders’ June decision resulting to a second sitting that ended Wednesday, skipped the event.

Mr Adano is being backed by East Africa Legislative Assembly MP Sarah Bonaya Godana.

A jovial Mr Yatani, who was accompanied by Francis Chachu Ganya ( MP North Horr), Joseph Lekuton ( MP Laisamis) and Women Representative Nasra Ibrahim, thanked the elders for the “honour”.

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“It is now time to focus on the future. There’s a lot we need to do for our people,” he said.

DECISION FINAL

The Yaa elders led by Mr Ibrae Lugayu, Mr Jarfo Boru and Yatani Diba, said their decision to endorse Mr Yatani is final.

They took issue with Mr Adano’s failure to attend their session, terming him a spoiler.

Mr Yatani, the elders said, was chosen due to his achievements, move to unify the 14 communities in the county and being always on the ground with locals.

Mr Yatanis government, they added, is also inclusive and ensures equity in development.

PARTY OF CHOICE

The governor said a major meeting will be held in a month’s time to announce the party he will use in the 2017 polls and his line-up for various seats.

The MPs vowed to campaign for Mr Yatani to win a second term.

During the event, elders from various communities also prayed for the governor’s success.

The Council of Governor's chief whip also got support from a number of ward representatives and their predecessors.

The governor says he has involved all 14 communities in Marsabit in his government.

He also denied defecting to the Jubilee Party and instead said he will work for the formation of a political alliance that will bring together all leaders and communities in the county for unity and development.

Under Mr Yatani’s watch, tribal skirmishes in Marsabit have become a thing of the past.

After his endorsement, Mr Yattani led a huge convoy of his supporters in Marsabit Town to celebrate the elders’ decision.

He said he is ready to square it out with his competitors in the polls and that his aim is to improve lives of formerly marginalised locals.