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Negotiated democracy: Shallow to vie for Wajir Senate seat after clans’ talks

Businessman Shallow Abdullahi said he will channel his energy for the senate seat following the elders’ decision. [Courtesy]

Businessman Shallow Abdullahi will forgo his gubernatorial ambition following negotiations among major communities in Wajir County ahead of the 2022 General Election.

The move comes after his Ajuran community, the third-largest single voting bloc in the county dropped their quest for the governor seat and instead announced that the clan will go for the Senate and women representative seats respectively.

Ajuran National Council (ANC) chairman Abass Abdullahi and his counterpart Yusuf Ibrahim of the Ajuran Council of Elders (ACE), said the decision was informed by extensive community engagement that has spanned months.

“The Ajuran community through its supreme organ ANC in concurrence with the Ajuran Council of Elders have resolved that the community will contest for the county senator and women representative positions,” read the statement.

 “The council reiterates its willingness to work with other communities and stakeholders in seeking these positions through inclusive partnerships for equity, peace and prosperity by forming alliances across the board for the benefit of Wajir county residents,” the statement added.

According to the elders, the resolution was a result of many engagement and forums including political leaders, opinion leaders and professionals.

“The council will forthwith share its itinerary in the selection process for the said positions and the same shared with the public,” the elders held.

Speaking to The Standard on phone, Shallow said he will now contest the senate seat following the elders’ decision.

He said he was okay with the clan’s decision and would mobilise resources and go for the seat that has been reserved for his Ajuran community.

“It is the elders who endorsed my gubernatorial candidature late last year who have decided otherwise, it is after intense lobbying and I accept it,” he said.

In November, the community which is domiciled in Wajir North endorsed businessman Shallow Abdullahi to battle it out for the governor’s seat.

Shallow while accepting endorsement said time is ripe for the Ajuran community to take over the reins of power at the county level.

“Our brothers from Wajir West have had the seat and we have seen the kind of leadership they have offered us. Our brothers in Wajir East have served us and we have seen what they have done to us. Our brothers from Wajir South are currently in office,” Shallow said.

Shallow said as a community, no member of the Ajuran community had served as governor since 2013 and urged the communities that had held the position in the past to allow them to serve in 2022.

“We are requesting our brothers from the other communities to allow also show our leadership qualities,” he said.

If elected, Shallow has promised to be fair to all communities by sharing resources equitably in Wajir County.

The negotiated democracy in Northern Kenya, where councils of elders endorse aspirants for various elective posts continues to take shape ahead of the polls.

In Wajir County where the practice is common, the Degodia, Ogaden and Ajuran communities had kicked off talks to share political positions.

Already clan elders in the region have conducted the exercise in the run-up to the August 9 General Election.

An informal agreement drafted in the run-ups to the 2013 and 2017 general elections says that the dominant Degodia community lands the post of governor, leaving the posts of senator and deputy governor to be shared by Ogaden and Ajuran clans.

The women representative being an affirmative position is left up for grabs among the three communities.

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Source: The Standard Media Kenya

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