The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) says it will not participate in the upcoming Wajir-West by-election scheduled for April 25.
In a statement Tuesday by Director of Elections Junet Mohammed said the party had arrived at the decision following consultations with the top leadership of the Jubilee Party during which they agreed to reciprocate Jubilee’s earlier decision to withdraw from the Migori, Ugenya and Embakasi South by-elections.
“The party has withdrawn from the April 25th by-election in Wajir West Constituency. This follows high level consultations between Jubilee Party nad ODM which arrived at the decision to reciprocate former’s earlier gesture not to field candidates in by elections in Ugenya and Embakasi South.” He said
IEBC cleared five candidates to contest in the Wajir West constituency by-election.
The candidates include Ali Noor Abdi of (LPK), Ibrahim Mohamud of (KANU), Mohamed Yussuf of (ODM) who later defected to Jubilee, Ahmed Kolosh of (Jubilee) and Abbas Nunow (AGANO) party.
The seat fell vacant after the Supreme Court nullified the election of Mohamed Kolosh in January.
Meanwhile, Prof Mohamed Yusuf who will now rally behind Jubilee candidate Mohamed Kolosh 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 the residence of the Deputy President William Ruto’s Karen residence on Tuesday during a luncheon with leaders from the clan, Prof Yusuf said the decision had nothing to do with the 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“I have today withdrawn from the Wajir West parliamentary seat by-election following days of negotiations within our community.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 Dr 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 Dr 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 Dr 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.