alexa Standstill in Wajir town as Ahmed Kolosh's supporters celebrate - Daily Nation

Standstill in Wajir town as Ahmed Kolosh's supporters celebrate

Friday April 26 2019

Ahmed Kolosh supporters

Supporters of Jubilee Party politician Ahmed Kolosh celebrate on April 26, 2019 after the IEBC declared him winner of the Wajir West by-election. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GRACE GITAU
By GRACE GITAU
More by this Author
JOSEPH WANGUI
By JOSEPH WANGUI
More by this Author

Supporters of Jubilee Party politician Ahmed Kolosh brought Wajir town to a standstill on Friday with celebrations of his victory in the Wajir West by-election.

Mr Kolosh garnered 11,053 votes against the 6,532 of Kanu candidate Sheikh Ibrahim Mohamud, who conceded defeat.

Outside Griftu Training Centre, where tallying took place, crowds waved Jubilee banners and shouted the winner's name, bringing to life the quiet Griftu village located 50 kilometres from Wajir town.

Some of the excited supporters took to the streets and blocked sections of roads, disrupting traffic flow.

TENSION OVER

Women who gathered in groups sang Mr Kolosh's praises and danced while waiting for their new member of Parliament to address them.

Advertisement

Some youths hang dangerously on vehicles while traders abandoned their businesses, all in shows of excitement.

Residents were relieved that weeks of tension between supporters of the two candidates ended in a peaceful vote.

“The political temperatures in the constituency were high because of the campaigns but now that we are done with the election, we can go on with our usual lives,” said Ms Aisha Adan.

Newly elected Wajir West MP
Newly elected Wajir West MP Ahmed Kolosh (Jubilee) greets his supporters after the IEBC announced his victory in the by-election at Griftu Training Centre on April 26, 2019. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kanu candidate Sheikh Ibrahim Mohamud (R)
Kanu candidate Sheikh Ibrahim Mohamud (R) congratulates Jubilee's Ahmed Kolosh at Griftu Training Centre on April 26, 2019, after the IEBC announced results of the Wajir West by-election. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

CLAN FACTOR

Mr Mohamud conceded defeat shortly before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission announced the official results.

He promised to work with Mr Kolosh to ensure unity among sub-clan and development.

“I will work with my brother because voters have made their decision. My plea is that he addresses the border issues the constituency is facing,” he said.

Politics in Wajir County is is largely determined by the clan factor - where elders decide the candidate a clan will support.

The elders pick their favourite candidates and then consult on how to share seats.

The two main clans in Wajir West are Degodia, which produced Mr Kolosh as the flagbearer, and Ajura, which fronted Mr Mohamud.

Newly elected Wajir West MP
Newly elected Wajir West MP Ahmed Kolosh (Jubilee) celebrates with his supporters after the IEBC announced his victory in the by-election at Griftu Training Centre on April 26, 2019. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

UNITY

In his acceptance speech, Mr Kolosh pledged to work with both his supporters and competitors to ensure the people's problems are solved.

“I am happy that my rival accepted defeat and said we will work together to in uniting our people," he said.

He added, "The Deputy President (William Ruto) played a role in my victory ... I appreciate the Majority Leader (Garissa Town MP Aden Duale), the DP and the President (Uhuru Kenyatta) [as they] stood with me."

Mr Kolosh moved in February from politician Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement to the ruling party.

This was after the Supreme Court overturned his victory in 2017 election following a petition by Mr Ibrahim.