Storm in Wajir after Wehliye approval

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021 13:50 |
Hassan Khalid Wehliye.

A decision by the Fai Sultanate to endorse Dr Hassan Khalid Wehliye as the community’s flag bearer for Wajir governor’s seat has run into headwinds.

The confusion comes after Tarbaj MP Ahmed Bashane and Nairobi businessman Ugas Sheikh Mohamed distanced themselves from the elders’ verdict that handed the community’s candidature to Wehliye.

Ugas Sheikh was among the four contenders for the governor’s seat alongside Nairobi South Hospital proprietor Dr Hassan Mohamed Adan and Bash Gedi Abdille.

“After long deliberations with Ugas (elders) of Fai Community, speaking on their behalf as the Sultanate.

We have unanimously settled on Dr Hassan Wehliye Khalid to be the flag bearer of Fai Community in Wajir County Gubernatorial contest in 2022 General Elections,” said Sultan Najib Ugas Ahmed Liban, who doubles as the chairperson of the Sultanate of Fai community.

“I wish to thank two great men who heeded to our call and stepped down in order to finalise this process earlier, my brothers Bash Gedi and Osman Mohamed. Thank you very much,” Ahmed Liban added as he handed nomination certificate from sultanate.

Fraudulent, regretable

But in a quick rejoinder, Ugas Sheikh, who had allegedly been “promised” endorsement by the elders for 2022 gubernatorial race after he had in 2017 stepped down in favour of former governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud, termed as fraudulent, regrettable and a sham verdict that lacked integrity from the beginning.

“In the past few days, I was credibly aware that money was exchanging hands and the verdict confirmed the information in public domain prior to the verdict.

I am aware that some ugases were promised both monetary and non-monetary rewards for picking the candidate in total disregard of the ethical standards required of them,” Ugas Sheikh said in a strongly worded press statement sent to newsrooms on Monday.

“It is quite unfortunate and indeed unacceptable that the membership of the sultanate whom the community bestowed trust betrayed the trust us both in 2016 and in this instance,” he added.

Ugas Sheikh claimed that he was endorsed by the Sultanate in July, 2017 and subsequently his  endorsement was unexpectedly and irrationally withdrawn five months later in December 2017.

“I reluctantly agreed then and stepped down in favour of the former Governor, Mohamed Abdi on the understanding and promise that I shall be the sole gubernatorial candidate from the family in the 2022 Elections,” he remarked.

Sub clan wars

He lamented the agreement of 2017 was deliberately and shamelessly disowned by the Sultanate in Sunday’s declaration process despite his several requests that they put the terms of the said agreement into consideration in determining the community’s gubernatorial candidate.

“The process was thus unfair, arbitrary, irrational and entirely based on monetary and non-monetary considerations and devoid of any merit. The criteria used to pick the candidate is unknown,” he stated.

“This corrupt and illegitimate process cannot yield legitimate outcomes that of value to Wajir people.

In the circumstance, and in view of the foregoing grievances and after extensively consulting with my supporters, I made a firm decision to proceed with my campaigns with a view to capture the seat of the governor of Wajir County in the forthcoming 2022 General Elections,” he held, adding that he genuinely believes that the gross injustice meted on him denies the people of Wajir County the leadership they deserve and can only be addressed and corrected through popular democracy and the ballot.

MP Bashane, who like Ugas Sheikh are extracts of Rerow Maalim Gedi clan of the Fai community promised to support his bid for the gubernatorial seat.

Wajir East MP Rashid Kassim seemingly unperturbed by claims of elders palms being greased termed Wehliye’s coronation as “a historic moment for Fai Community which is the biggest sub clan and the backbone of Degodia clan”.

“I wish to thank the Sultanate for job well done and completing their task well.

I wish to also thank my brothers Ugas Sheikh and  Hassan for conceding to abide by the decision of the sultanate,” Amin said adding there is a hard task ahead which seeking to convince other clans in Wajir to win the seat.

Meanwhile, Wehliye, the Coast region head of the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) has thanked the Fai sultanate for the trusting and nominating him to contest for the position of Governor of Wajir County.

“It was tiresome exercise for them and finally Allah has helped achieve their mandate. I wish to also thank my brothers and worthy competitors for their humility and good spirit in seeking community’s ticket,” Wehliye said in his acceptance speech.

The coronation of Wehliye sets the stage for an epic battle with ex-governor Ahmed Abdullahi, who seeking to make a comeback to the county top seat.

Abdullahi, has already been endorsed as a sole candidate for the governor’s seat by his Mantaan clan. Fai and Mantaan are arguably the largest sub-clans among the 10 sub-clans of the Degodia. Abdullahi’s bid to recapture the seat got a boost a fortnight ago after his larger Degodia clan backed him to succeed incumbent Governor Ahmed Ali Muktar.

In Wajir, politics revolves around the Degodia, Ogaden and Ajuran clans. Both Abdullahi and Wehliye now faces a tough task of convincing other sub-clans to rally behind him including campaigning for support of the Ogaden and Ajuran clans who are equally formidable competitors in the political arena.

Meanwhile, the former governor has urged competitors to join him in establishing an inclusive county lineup similar to the Degodia-Ajuran-Ogaden ticket that secured him an easy victory in 2013 election.

 Abdullahi, a close ally of the ODM leader Raila Odinga, in whose ticket he will be seeking re-election said he will now reach out to other leasers and form an electric lineup since majority of the Degodia sub-clans have endorsed him as a gubernatorial aspirant.

“Between 2013-2017, my administration has been consistent in spreading development projects across the county. We have established 30 ward offices of the same design in all the 30 wards. The fresh produce markets were established in at least two wards of each of the six constituencies” Abdullahi, who is commonly referred as Jiir said during the launch of  Korondile sub-county in Wajir North constituency.

“I will do even more once elected back to office come 2022 elections inshallah,” he added

In 2013, Abdullahi was elected on an ODM ticket with his Deputy Abdihafid Yarrow from the Ajuran community and the then senator Abdirahman Hassan hailing from Ogaden clan.

In 2017, the Jubilee coalition scooped the governor, deputy and senator positions as Ambassador Mohamed Abdi triumphed Abdullahi and Ahmed Muhumed of PDR.

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