Ousted Wajir governor insists he’s still in office
Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
A standoff is looming in Wajir county after ousted Governor Mohamed Abdi Mahamud maintained that he is firmly in office until the case he has filed is heard and determined.
The turn of events come even as his successor Ahmed Ali Muktar also said he is firmly in charge of Wajir county administration, dismissing any leadership vacuum.
Muktar said allegations made in regards to court orders by the former governor are intended to whip up ethnic tensions.
“I urge the great people of Wajir county to ignore unnecessary sideshows and theatrics hell-bent to destabilise us from the pathway to pledged prosperity,” he told a press conference in Nairobi yesterday.
“The people of Wajir have been craving for good governance and service delivery for far too long.
I pledge and endeavour to offer the same during the remaining tenure of my administration,” he added.
Muktar appealed to the ousted governor to accept the status quo and internalise that there is no vacuum in the county leadership.
But in rejoinder, Mahamud, while describing his deputy as a humble person who has never shown any ill intentions, blamed his woes on politicians known for their mischievous maneuvers and political machinations every time the General Election at the corner.
He said his impeachment was yet another phase of the greatest witch-hunt in the history of the county, after the protracted court battles of election petitions that ended in the Supreme Court upholding his victory.
Addressing a press conference at the Council of Governors (CoG) office in Westlands, the impeached governor said his ouster followed a litany of well-orchestrated coup de’ tat tactics and manoeuvres that are known to all and sundry.
“I am perturbed by the behaviour of some Wajir political leaders who hurriedly conducted and officiated an illegal swearing-in in an attempt to remove a popularly elected governor from office,” he said.
“This proves that my purported removal was well engineered from the beginning so as to influence the 2022 political matrix of Wajir,” he added.
He decried disobedience of court orders, given that the High Court had barred the county Assembly and the Senate from impeaching him until a petition he had filed was heard and determined.
“The resolution by the Senate was rendered ineffective and inapplicable. As such, anything done in pursuit to that resolution on May 17, including the swearing-in of Wajir Deputy Governor, has no effect,” he said on Tuesday.
He termed governor Muktar as a victim of circumstances, reaffirming that their relationship will remain the same even as he urged leaders to be mindful so as to avoid what he termed as “acts or commissions that may culminate to inter-clan clashes.
On the other hand, a section of Wajir county leaders has rubbished claims of political power play and witch-hunt in Mahamud’s ejection.
Led by the Secretary Jubilee Coalition Joint Parliamentary Group Dr Adan Keynan, the leaders said the former governor’s ouster was driven by alleged lack of development and services to the residents by the ex-governors administration.
They told off CoG for challenging Abdi’s removal to respect the decision of the Senate, county Assembly and cries of the residents.
“Governor Muktar is now firmly in office. Any order purportedly issued by the High Court blocking his assumption to office was overtaken by events,” said Keynan, the Eldas MP.
“We are asking our people to support the new administration to enable them deliver services, because the expectations is high,” he added.
The Eldas lawmaker, however, affirmed that whatever outcome of the courts, as leaders, they will abide by but until that happens, Wajir residents will continue receiving service uninterrupted.
Keynan, who said the county government headed by Mahamud stifled development with residents crying for basic services, including the crucial health services.
“There have been very many serious issues in Wajir. Hospitals were closed. Health workers were not at work. We faced some very small issues that any county government can handle,” he said
Environment and Forestry CAS Elmi Mohammed, while hailing the Ward Reps and senators for impeaching the governor, said for the last three years’ service delivery had collapsed.