The son of the late Garissa senator Mohamed Yussuf Haji called on leaders and residents from the region to uphold the newfound unity brought about by the demise of his late father.
Speaking today after being officially endorsed by two major clans in Garissa County to vie for the senatorial seat that fell vacant following the death of his father last month, Abdikadir Mohamed promised to carry on with his father’s leadership mantle if elected.
He said that the unity should go into 2022 general elections and beyond.
Over the weekend, the late senator’s son Abdallah (Samawathal) clan sanctioned him to vie for the seat after being fronted by the family to ‘finish the period remaining of his father’s term as senator’.
The late Haji’s son rose into the national limelight for being among the first rescuers during the Westgate Mall attack on September 21, 2013
The late senator, a long-time provincial administrator, who served two terms as Ijara MP before being elected twice as Garissa Senator, died at the Aga Khan University hospital in Nairobi last month.
Mzee Haji’s last wish was that his salary for the last six months be given to vulnerable children. The family promised to fulfil the wish by distributing the money through the Kenya Red Cross to needy children in the six sub-counties of Garissa.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has announced the Garissa by-election will be held on May 18, the same day Bonchari parliamentary seat and Rurii ward in Nyandarua County by-elections will be conducted.
“I am extremely humbled by the support I have gotten from all the Garissa clans. This is the first time in ages that all the clans have come together in support of one candidate vying for a political seat. I am not taking this for granted,” Abdikadir said.
“We knew our late father to be a peace-loving man and who could go to any length to bring together warrying communities and leaders at loggerheads but we never thought the same was being appreciated by the community and their leaders,” he noted.
Abdikadir said there are attributes that he leant from his late father among them protocol, rule of law and treating people equally irrespective of their status in the society that he promised if elected will strive to actualise in his service to the people.
Garissa governor Ali Korane said that as leaders they implored upon a number of candidates who were interested in the seat to step down in favour of Abdikadir.
“We want to thank the aspirants for heeding to our calls. We also want to extend the same to their supporters and their community for equally understanding us. We will walk this journey until we deliver the seat,” Korane said.
Garissa Township MP Aden Duale said that in memory of the late Haji whom he described ‘a great son of Garissa’ they unanimously decided to back his son to complete the remaining two years term.
“We are begging and urging the voters of this great county that we give a chance to Abdikadir and elect him unopposed in the senatorial by election. Let us put aside our differences and deliver this seat in honour of his late father,” Duale said.
by Jacob Songok