Raila forced to abandon rally by armed youths
Armed youths on Friday disrupted Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s rally in Turkana East forcing him to leave without addressing the residents.
Mr Odinga was accompanied by Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok and flew to another rally in Lokichar, Turkana South, where he addressed locals.
The politician is in the county on a three-day tour to popularise the new National Super Alliance (Nasa) political grouping.
Mr Odinga’s visit started on a rough note as the armed youths became unruly at Katilia centre in Turkana East Constituency. The organisers cut short the meeting.
No leader had addressed the residents at the time of the incident.
A group of youth started throwing stones at the crowd that had gathered at the trading centre, waiting to be addressed by the ODM leader.
Another group of armed youth came from a different direction, firing several rounds in the air. The crowd to scampered. The area is infamous for banditry.
Mr Odinga said in Lokichar that the well-coordinated group of youths, armed with stones and firearms, had been incited to disrupt the rally with the intentions of hitting him.
“The youth wanted to hit Raila who had come in good faith to seek votes. The inciter is forgetting that he is also supposed to seek votes from the same people. That is a stupid act,” the Opposition leader told Lokichar residents.
No sooner had Mr Nanok invited Mr Odinga to speak at Katilia, than the situation deteriorated. Mr Nanok is ODM’s national vice-chairman.
“We have been told that one MP incited youths to come to our meeting and disrupt it. We did not even have a chance to address the rally as stones were thrown at us. We also heard gunshots and left to go to Lokichar,” Mr Nanok said.
Mr Odinga said it was wrong for leaders to incite youths to violence saying they only went there to ask for votes.
“The MP told some of the youths to carry stones and firearms to our rally and target Raila Odinga. The police fired in the air to confront the rowdy youth. He (the MP) could have just told them not to attend the rally,” he said.
Turkana East MP Nicholas Ngikor defected to Jubilee from Ford-Kenya alongside Turkana Senator John Munyes. Loima MP Protus Akuja also decamped to Jubilee from ODM.
Today, Mr Odinga will be at Kokuro in Turkana North Constituency, which has been worst hit by the ongoing drought. He is also scheduled to tour Kakuma and Lokichoggio in Turkana West Constituency.
He will hold his final rallies on Sunday at Lorugum Town in Loima Constituency and Lodwar Town in Turkana Central Constituency.
National Irrigation Board Chairman Malachy Ekal is expected to be presented as the party’s candidate for Turkana senate seat to replacing Mr Munyes.
Mr Munyes is eying the governor’s seat and has picked Governor Nanok’s deputy Peter Lokoel as his running mate.