Opposition leader fails to endorse secession bid spearheaded by two governors
12 months ago, 18 Dec 01:00
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has said the push by the Coast region to secede was a sign the country was at the tipping point. The NASA leader said frustrations across the country could only be resolved through dialogue. Raila, however, failed to endorse the self-determination agenda by Governors Hassan Ali Joho (Mombasa) and Amason Kingi (Kilifi). Joho announced they would convene a meeting in January bringing together 1,299 people from each of the six counties to deliberate on secession. “The issue is serious but the frustration and anger felt in the Coast because of politics of exclusion and marginalisation is being felt across the country. We call for constructive dialogue,” said Raila. He said threats and blackmail by the Jubilee regime would not stop or deter their push for electoral justice, adding that NASA was yet to be approached by Jubilee Party to have dialogue on the issues affecting the country. “The country is at a tipping point and it only needs a spark and it will be bad. We have reached a point where we need concrete and intensive dialogue over some of the issues being raised by Coast leaders,” he said. Joho and Kingi said their resolve to push for self-determination was unstoppable and no threats and intimidation would stop them. Earlier, there was confusion at the inaugural People’s Assembly convention at the Coast over what participants and organisers said was the push by a section of leaders for secession of the region. Raila walked out as Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi started to give a detailed explanation and historical reasons why the Coast was pushing for self-determination. Earlier in the day, delegates also demanded that Raila be sworn in and even presented him with the bible, saying that the coalition was losing its momentum and push for electoral justice. “The fact of the matter is we appear to lack a clear strategy. We have lost the momentum since we postponed plans of swearing in our President,” said Likoni MP Mishi Mboko. The more than 300 delegates from all counties at the Coast, save for Tana River, demanded that Raila should be sworn in or announce a tentative date, saying his supporters were losing trust in the coalition's leadership. The convention that was held in Kilifi, according to the programme, was to address concerns raised about the People’s Assembly, devolution and calls for secession. Coast leaders who were at the meeting, however, took the opportunity to give a detailed explanation or to sell their secession agenda. Raila walked out when Kingi began to give a historical account of how Coast was, allegedly bought by the former British protectorate to join the larger Kenya.
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