Controversial Kisumu Sikh monument brought down

KISUMU, KENYA: The controversial Sikh monument in Kisumu County has finally been brought down.

The Sikh community removed the statue that saw former Prime Minister Raila Odinga booed in his home turf, due to pressure from the locals. They said this was for the sake of peace in the Lakeside City that they have decided to bring the monument down. The statue was brought down Sunday morning amidst tight security along Mosque Road as residents including faithfuls from the Sikh community watched.

One of the Sikh Sheikhs, Bilayi Singh said they will in turn build a water fountain that will be availed during their celebration of 100 years of existence of the Siri Guru Singh Sabha temple. The event is slated for February 28 to March 9. “For the sake of peace we are bringing it down, we hope that we would have constructed a water fountain before the end of February,” said Mr Singh. He said the Sikh community worships one God and not devil worship, adding that the public is invited for the celebrations where there will be plenty of food and free medical care in the nine clinics next to the temple.

Members of Repentance and Holiness Ministry were the first people to protest against the statue terming it idol worship in the city. The former PM also faced the wrath of the people on Saturday when he went to quell tension brought by the erection of the statue in town, forcing him to cut down his speech. The residents claimed that the sculptures of Kenyan heroes were the only ones welcomed in the town. Earlier, Raila held a closed door meeting with religious leaders in a temple to avert a looming religious conflict in the town.

Executive Committee member for Physical Planning, Engineer Vincent K’odera confirmed that the county had approved a water fountain. He however said that the breaching of that agreement by erecting a statue led to the bringing down of the monument.


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