Tana River Governor Dhadho Gaddae Godhana wants Somali refugees in the country to return to their homeland, saying considerable peace has been found there.
Major (rtd) Godhana said the continued stay of refugees in Kenya was a threat to security and urged them to return to their country to rebuild it after years of internal conflicts.
The governor, who also condemned the heinous attack on civilians at Dusit D2 Hotel on 14 Riverside Drive in Nairobi on Tuesday, said his county had also been affected by the presence of refugees in the country, hence the need for them to go back home.
“I have said it before and now I am repeating it, all refugees should go back home and take advantage of the prevailing peace to flourish socially, politically and economically,” he said during the handing over of school fees cheques to needy bright students in the county.
He said it would be impossible for the refugees in Kenya to benefit from elective positions in their country if they remained in Kenya and urged them to go and vie for president, governor and other positions.
“Somalia has a system of governance like ours and citizens are free to vie for presidential and governorship positions,” he noted adding, “It is prudent that our brothers and sisters here go and take advantage of the prevailing peace.”
He told them not to fear returning home since the international community, led by the African Mission in Somalia (Amisom), in which the Kenya Defence Forces are serving in Somalis, had assisted the country achieve some peace.
The governor however said his statements on refugees had been misinterpreted by certain people in the country, who have been accusing him of targeting a certain community, a position he vehemently denied.
“I am saying this to help the refugees to return home, and at no time have I mentioned anybody,” he said.
It is believed that the attackers on Dusit D2 Hotel in Nairobi was perpetrated by armed criminal group from Somalia.
The governor said attackers’ mission of trying to divide the county had badly flopped as it had left Kenya more united than before.
He sent a message of condolences to the families of the 21 civilians who perished in the attack and prayed for quick recovery for those who were injured in the incident.
By Emmanuel Masha