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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Disgruntled Northeastern Ward Representatives vow to oppose BBI

By Abdi Maalim

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A section of disgruntled ward representatives across the Northeastern region have vowed to mobilize supporters to vote ‘no’ at the referendum following passage of a constitution amendment bill across the country.

Speaking separately, the ward reps claimed they have been given a raw deal since the initiative does not address numerous challenges facing the region.

Of concern to the Members of the County Assemblies (MCAs), is the revenue being pegged on population, while there is no consideration on the region’s vastness and landmass.

In addition, the leaders decried that although they asked the BBI team to add two extra constituency in Wajir’s Habaswein and Hulugho’s Ijara constituencies, the plea was no granted.

The two areas, they said are eligible for extra seats since they are vast and have surpassed the required census numbers.

Hulugho ward representative Adow Omar said the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) as much as it has been hyped and backed by the state, only favours regions against others.

“We have the numbers and landmass but the BBI proponent decided to give extra constituency to more developed areas,” he said.

He said his ward has only one primary school and the ones surrounding areas have been closed due to insecurity, the split of Ijara constituency he noted would have solved some of the issues.

He said BBI does not address how to fight corruption that he described as cancer that has deprived development for both current and future generations.

Galmagala ward representative Yussuf Omar said ward funds as well as increased revenue for the counties as proposed in the changes are fallacy, this he said because the government has not been honouring the previous 15per cent allocations.

He said Garissa like any other Northeastern region are faced with insecurity as a result of Al-shabaab menace that has since affected education, health amongst other services.

“We have done our best to oppose this so amendment however our colleagues were threatened and intimidated to silence this bill which will have a far reaching consequences in the region,” added the ward representative.

The ward reps claimed most of their colleagues were determined to shoot down the amendment bill intimidation by their respective parties.

“My conscious cannot allow me to consent something that will reduce much needed revenues for our counties, an initiative that has favoured other region than ours,” said another ward representative.

Meimuna Said a nominated member of Wajir county assembly quoting the late prof George Saitoti said there comes a time when the nation is more important than an individual.

“My decision to officially oppose BBI will either attract string minds or offend the weak, history will judge me for standing up and vote no against BBI in Wasjir,” she said.

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