Over 5,000 residents in Nandi County have signed in support of the Building Bridges Initiative signature drive despite the county receiving the booklets to be signed days after the launch of the exercise last week.,
County Commissioner (CC) Geoffrey Omoding while addressing the media Monday said by Tuesday, the number will be 20,000 or more as most residents are positive about the exercise.
Omoding said every resident is free to choose to support or not and that no one is being coerced to append his or her signature.
“BBI has many good things targeting especially the youth and women, touching on shared prosperity and inclusivity,” said Omoding
The CC said the few who are against the signature drive cannot stifle the people’s voice and resolve, and that residents are looking forward to the gains they will get by supporting BBI.
“The aim of BBI is to unite Kenyans and it is a government project coordinated by the chiefs who are also part of the community, that is why they are the custodians of the booklets,” explained Omoding.
Earlier in the day, Nandi Hills MCA Gideon Koech had registered disapproval over the exercise, citing that it was using government machinery which could have been channeled to push for other issues rather than BBI.
“I was going round my ward over the weekend and saw that the chiefs and their assistants are going out mobilizing residents to come out and sign the booklets,” said Koech.
The MCA said the energies being used in running the signature drive should be instead used in reaching out to the society in issues on education, social protection for the elderly, among others.
Koech argues that the government should have used the youth to do the mobilization instead of the chiefs and by doing so addressed the challenge of unemployment.
The collection of signatures in the county comes in the backdrop of the Governor Stephen Sang, who two weeks ago said that there was no need of collection of signatures in the County since no one supports BBI there.
“I want to say that in Nandi County we will not allow and accept the collection of signatures, no one should come here to look for them”, said Sang.
BBI seeks to amend the Constitution and factor in key issues including inclusivity, shared prosperity, ethnic antagonism and competition among others.
The collection of signatures exercise which targets to collect over four million signatures is expected to last for one week.
By Bethsheba Abuya