Raila left us too disappointed to mark Jamhuri Day, Migori supporters say

Migori county commissioner Joseph Rotich addresses a near-empty Migori county stadium during Jamuhuri Day celebrations, December 12, 2017. /MANUEL ODENY

Migori residents did not attend Jamhuri Day celebrations as they were “disillusioned” after NASA boss Raila Odinga put off his swearing-in.

All elected leaders and many residents skipped the fete at Migori county stadium on Tuesday.

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Governor Okoth Obado sent Kennedy Adongo, the Suna East sub-county administrator, to represent him.

Only a small tent at the centre of the stadium had entertainers and children.

“We did not turn up because we knew this was the day for Raila’s swearing-in as President. We were disappointed,” said resident John Odongo.

Odongo said that after the postponement, NASA supporters met in groups to discuss the Luo community’s political direction.

The Opposition pushed the ceremony amid calls for Raila to dialogue with President Uhuru Kenyatta. Uhuru had said he was interested in talks but while commemorating the 53rd Jamhuri Day, he said he was willing to engage the Opposition.

Maurice Okello said: “We chose the day to reflect on the way forward as a community. We were not happy so we remained indoors or carried on with regular business.”

County commissioner Joseph Rotich, who spoke at the grounds, urged residents to accept the outcome of the election and move on.

IEBC declared Uhuru winner after two elections following complaints by Raila and his co-principals. The Supreme Court upheld the decision and said the boycott in Migori, Kisumu, Homa Bay and Siaya was not a reason to invalidate the vote.

Rotich said there were spirited competitions in races for all elective positions.

“All losers should support winners for the sake of peace and development. We need to forgive one another if need be for the sake of development and prosperity.”

Rotich further asked communities to live in harmony instead of focusing on their ethnic, political and religious backgrounds.

He said the national and county governments will roll out a peace programme next Tuesday and that all residents, opinion leaders and youths. will participate.

His sentiments were shared by Adongo who urged residents to carry on since the elections season is over. He said they must prevent division along any lines.


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