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Governor loses guards after storming roadblock

Protesting boda boda operators attempt to remove metal spike bars mounted at  a police roadblock. PHOTO | FILE
Protesting boda boda operators attempt to remove metal spike bars mounted at a police roadblock. PHOTO | FILE
Police officers attached to West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo and his home have been withdrawn.

Security officers attached to West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo were withdrawn Friday morning after he stormed a road block along Kapenguria-Lodwar highway and forcefully released a boda boda rider on Wednesday evening.

The rider had been arrested for flouting traffic rules.

West Pokot police commander Mathews Kuto confirmed the withdrawal, saying they were investigating the Wednesday incident.

The governor had earlier said the officers had been withdrawn before his phones went off.

MICHUKI RULES

Tension was high in Makutano town after residents learned that security detail had been ordered to leave.

West Pokot Ward Rep Elijah Kasheuseu said they were fearing the governor might be arrested although police officers did not give such a signal.

Mr Kasheuseu said the governor did not break any law because he just was protecting rights of innocent Kenyans.

“The (enforcement of) Michuki laws for boda-boda operators has been extended for two months and the police have no authority to harass the riders,” he said.

He called on Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i and Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet to respect elected leaders.

“The governor was elected by the people and he has a right to protect interest of his electorates. Residents will protect the governor by giving him security,” he said.

STORMED ROADBLOCK

In the Wednesday drama, Prof Lonyangapuo stormed the Safari Hotel roadblock and freed the boda boda rider.

The rider identified as Mr Leonard Powen was carrying onions from Ortum to Kapenguria when he was arrested for failing to observe traffic laws.

Police chained him to his motorbike using their handcuffs, sparking uproar from residents and road users.

The furious governor threw away the officers’ metallic spikes and ordered the police to leave the place.

The arrest comes after area leaders, led by Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto and area MCAs, protested alleged police harassment, brutality and bribery in the ongoing traffic crackdown in the area.

They faulted the police for taking advantage of the operation to take bribes and harass the youth.



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