alexa Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani denies defecting from ODM - Daily Nation

Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani denies defecting from ODM

Thursday September 22 2016

Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani signs a visitors book at Marsabit County Assembly Speaker Matthew Loltome (centre) office as Clerk Mohamud Kamaya (left) watches. FILE | KEN BETT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani signs a visitors book at Marsabit County Assembly Speaker Matthew Loltome (centre) office as Clerk Mohamud Kamaya (left) watches. FILE | KEN BETT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

LUCAS BARASA
By LUCAS BARASA
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Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani has denied decamping from ODM to the Jubilee Party.

“I have not defected but agreeing that as Marsabit county leaders we are in discussion with national leaders on how best we can stop recurrence of tribal clashes we experienced last election which was particularly triggered by the different tribal political camps,” Mr Yattani said.

Mr Yattani, however, said leaders in Marsabit were considering sharing “future political positions based on the major ethnic groups/clans of the county.”

“If that will bring us under one political umbrella then so be it because the lives and stability of our county will remain prime motivation in our decision making,” he said.

Mr Yattani is among 13 ODM members who the party disciplinary committee has recommended for expulsion for joining JP.

Others the party wants removed are Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi and MPs Zainabu Chidzuga, Steven Kariuki, Mpuru Aburi, Gideon Mung’aro, Mustafa Iddi, Cyprian Kubai, Isaac Mwaura, James Rege, Samuel Arama and John Waluke.

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ODM disciplinary committee chairman Fred Athuok said on Tuesday his team had given the green light to the party’s National Executive Council to expel the leaders, who have said they will support President Uhuru Kenyatta and the JP in next year’s elections.

'THREATS ARE NO GOOD'

But in an interview with the Nation on Wednesday, Mr Yattani said: “My advice to ODM officials is that threats will not do the party any good but will only hurt the chance of the party leader.”

He went on: “I have tremendous respect for ODM, particularly the party leader and it is in everybody’s interest that dialogue should be encouraged rather than threats.”

Mr Yattani, whose county is the biggest in the country in terms of land mass, said he had not seen a letter purportedly summoning him.

He was speaking from Illeret in Marsabit where he had visited “to handle some security issues”.

“We relate to all leaders including the president and deputy president anytime on all issues affecting the people of Kenya,” the Council of Governors whip who is also a close ally of CoG chairman Peter Munya, said.

Regarded as most influential personality in upper eastern counties following the demise of former Cabinet Minister Bonaya Godana, Mr Yattani’s support is crucial for the top political parties ahead of next year’s elections.