RACE HOTS UP

Support UDA candidates in Turkana, urges Nanok

Seven aspirants want to succeed Governor Nanok who plans to run for national seat

In Summary
  • Seven aspirants want to succeed Nanok, four of them are seeking the UDA ticket.
  • Nanok was removed as ODM vice chairman for his pro-DP Ruto stance. He urges residents to vote for UDA, says he'll seek national office.
ODM party leader Raila Odinga shakes hands with Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok at Lodwar town early this year.
RAILA, NANOK: ODM party leader Raila Odinga shakes hands with Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok at Lodwar town early this year.
Image: HESBORN ETYANG

At least seven aspirants have declared they want to succeed outgoing Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok who is aiming for a national seat.

Nanok is a regional point man for Deputy President William Ruto and is the UDA coordinator for North Rift. He was removed as ODM vice chairman for his pro-Ruto position.

Nanok called on residents to support UDA candidates in the next election, saying the unity of purpose will renew hope for Turkana in national politics.

After serving two terms, Nanok has said he will endorse the best person to succeed him.

He said the candidate must have strong credentials to improve water supply, food security, strengthen peace building, private sector development and resource mobilisation.

Nanok says he want to stay active in politics and champion the interest of Turkana at the national level.

“Politics is about the interests of the people. I deplore those who want to be governor to further their selfish agenda," Nanok said on Sunday.

The seven leaders who have declared their interest in the governor's seat are MCA Erastus Lokaale (assembly speaker), MPs Jeremiah Lomurkai (Loima), John Lodepe (Turkana Central)  and James Lomenen (Turkana South).

Others are CS for Petroleum an Mining John Munyes, Malachy Ekal and Turkana Senator and former Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro.

Nanok, former chairman of the Council of Governors, has a well-oiled political machine to promote himself and his preferred successor.

Those seeking the UDA ticket are Lokaale, Lodepe, Lomenen and Ekal.

Nanok and Lokaale are allies and the governor is considered likely to endorse the speaker.

Last month, a delegation of Turkana leaders headed by Nanok visited DP Ruto at his residence in Karen. They failed to agree on who would be UDA's candidate for governor.

"We could not settle on who will be the UDA flagbearer to succeed Nanok because of some issues we were told to resolve," a source close to the meeting said. He sought anonymity.

After the choice, he said, some leaders are expected to decamp from UDA and Tangatanga and join the Kieleweke team led by Munyes and Lomurkai.

Nanok said he parted ways with ODM because it did not consider the best interests of the people of Turkana. Nanok opposed BBI, which ODM leader Raila Odinga  supported.

In 2019, Nanok declared his support for  the pro-DP Tangatanga group, saying he was sidelined by ODM

He was replaced as party vice chairman by Lomurkai.

When he visited Turkana in February to promote BBI, Raila complained that Nanok had deserted him.

“Governor Nanok is my friend," Raila said, recounting how he has promoted Nanok over the years.

He said he campaigned for Nanok to become MP, picked him as minister and appointed him as assistant minister in the coalition government.

The ODM boss also said he gave Nanok the strategy to run for governor and campaigned for him in 2013 and 2017.

"After reelection, you are walking with people opposed to my ideologies," Raila said.

(Edited by V. Graham)