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My withdrawal has nothing to do with ODM, Wajir West candidate

In Summary

• Mohamed Yusuf says his decision has everything to do with his clan's desires.

• DP Ruto says the move is good for Wajir's future.

Deputy President William Ruto shares a light moment with ODM candidate for Wajir West by-election Mohamed Yusuf at his Karen residence on April 9, 2019.
Deputy President William Ruto shares a light moment with ODM candidate for Wajir West by-election Mohamed Yusuf at his Karen residence on April 9, 2019.
Image: DPPS

ODM candidate in the upcoming Wajir West by-election Mohamed Yusuf to support his Jubilee opponent has nothing to do with his party.

Yusuf said the decision was arrived at following the intervention by the Degodia clan over fears his candidature would create divisions in the community.

"I have today withdrawn from the Wajir West parliamentary seat by-election following days of negotiations within our community. ODM had nothing to do with it," he said.

He noted that the decision was arrived at as a community and believe it is the best way forward.

"This decision has nothing to do with the ODM party, which had earlier given me a direct ticket to contest the seat," he explained.

His statement contradicts an earlier one issued by ODM director of elections Junet Mohammed saying that the party had consulted Jubilee and decided not to field a candidate.

"The party has arrived at this decision following consultations with the top leadership of the Jubilee Party during which we agreed to reciprocate Jubilee’s earlier decision to withdraw from the Migori, Ugenya and Embakasi South by-elections," Junet said.

He was speaking at a luncheon of Wajir leaders hosted by Deputy President William Ruto at his Karen residence.

Yusuf said that he would not be seeking the seat and will instead rally behind Jubilee candidate Mohamed Kolosh.

Ruto said that the withdrawal should not be seen as a move to back up the Jubilee candidate but a bold step that would develop Wajir.

"It is not about this or that political candidate but the future of Wajir," Ruto said at a luncheon with Wajir leaders at his Karen residence.

The Deputy President observed that for a long time, petty politics had dominated northern parts of Kenya, thereby derailing its development.

"We must bring an end to the marginalisation song. W, therefore,e must define a clear pathway of how to get out of it; let us manage our politics so that it can focus on changing the lives of people," Ruto said.

Eldas MP Adan Keynan said the move would strengthen the clan, and unite the people of Wajir.

"We have opted as a community that we cannot be divided along ethnic lines. We will support the Jubilee candidate because we are after transforming Wajir," said  Keynan.

He said the region would continue to invest in the leadership of the Jubilee party because it is an outfit that is informed on policies that would make Kenya better.

Leaders present were Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud, MPs Rashid Kassim (Wajir East), Ahmed Bashane (Tarbaj), nominated senator Farhiya Ali and former Presidential Advisor Abdikadir Mohamed.