A section of Wajir leaders have come out to dismiss reports that the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party convinced Prof. Mohamed Yusuf Elmi to step down for Jubilee Party candidate Ahmed Kolosh in the upcoming Wajir West by-election.
This comes after Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, in a press address on Wednesday, claimed the decision for Mr. Elmi’s withdrawal from the race was reached after “high-level consultation” between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.
In a statement seen by Citizen Digital on Wednesday, Wajir leaders from the Degodia community – composed of both political and business leaders – however stated that they are behind Mr. Elmi’s decision to bow out of the race following week-long consultations.
“This was done in further consultation with Jubilee Deputy Party Leader William Ruto, who is also the Deputy President. The decision had nothing to do with the ODM party or any of its functionaries, as some would allege,” read the statement.
The leaders further added that two other candidates – Ali Noor Abdi (Labour Party of Kenya) and Abass Nonow Shihaw (Agano Party) – have since also agreed to step down and support the Jubilee flag bearer after meeting DP Ruto.
“We, as leaders from the region do not condone deceit and/or conmanship. The efforts of the community cannot be taken for granted or rubbished by those who do not know the hours, energy and resources put in this,” added the statement.
ODM Director of Elections Junet Mohamed on Tuesday said the party decided to pull out of the polls in a bid to reciprocate Jubilee’s earlier decision to withdraw from the Migori, Ugenya and Embakasi South by-elections.
“It is not ODM that convinced me to step down; it is the community that told me to step down in favour of Kolosh,” Prof. Elmi told reporters after a meeting at the DP’s Karen residence where he formally announced his defection on Tuesday.
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