By Jim Bonnie
There is a very dangerous attitude and trend unfolding in Nyanza crafted, packaged and spread by some bad-mannered and anti- development agents in and around Nyanza. Apparently, these ‘know-all’ politicians and their supporters have embarked on an attack mission against anybody and everybody not elected on ODM ticket in Nyanza.
Not even being party to CORD coalition can save these leaders who escaped by a whisker, the wrath of ODM party euphoria that has always swept Nyanza elective politics since Hon. Raila Odinga’s entry into competitive politics in the 90s.
Among all the leaders who got elected â€“ by luck though â€“ to various posts on parties such as Ford Kenya, Wiper, PDP and others; the one bearing big brunt of ODM supporters’ anger is Governor Zackary Obado of Migori County. Migori County is in South Nyanza by geography and borders Tanganyika to the North.
His worst sin, having been elected on a PDP ticked. Remember PDP is a cord affiliate party â€“ nevertheless it doesn’t count now for the infuriated ODM politician and a bunch of their hate filled followers. The hostility against the governor by blind sycophantic supporters who want to seek relevance through concocted and unsolicited attacks on perceived ODM “enemies” has hit the ceiling.
To add salt to injury, some narrow-minded ODM politicians have been working tirelessly towards sidelining the governor. The attacks have gone ‘hi-tech and digital’. Nowhere are the attacks so lethal, vicious and rampant as they are on the social media platforms. In these platforms, these armies of attention seeking sycophants have taken advantage of their anonymity to pour venom and spread fabricated lies about governor.
The humble governor has lethargy of charges emanating from his enemies. Among them, he is accused of being disloyal to Raila Odinga and sleeping with the enemy. In case you didn’t know, nothing rattles ODM supporters than the realization that one of them plays the devil’s advocate â€“ in this context, being seen near the enemy. For some, even shaking hands with either perceived or real enemies would grant you life in “hell”.
Some facebook pages and groups dedicated to Migori County â€“ of course for productive discussions – have been turned into battlefields where pro and anti-Obado forces square it out. The strategically positioned attackers ooze with rage ready to attack at the slightest provocation. The attacks are so vicious you fear what would happen in the event that these poor chaps meet. Some of the vigilantes, who aren’t even able to construct a proper statement â€“ judging from their posts, have jammed the social media throwing epithets and scandalizing H.E. Governor Zackary Obado.
The fact that the governor hosted Deputy President Hon. William Ruto on several occasions that he visited the county has rubbed these supporters and a few clueless politicians from Nyanza the wrong way. Yet no one is in a position to advance any logical argument by giving genuine and candid reasons why the governor deserves all the hate.
How do you expect to develop Nyanza if we can’t support our elected leaders? We can’t use Obado’s victory as a scape-goat to alloy the nomination mess. To the best of my knowledge, governor Obado floored his closest competitor and Raila’s advisor â€“ Prof. Oyugi – who was irregularly issued with nomination certificate, fare and square.
For you who may not know, Governor Zackary Obado is a casualty of the sham nomination process that rocked ODM and Nyanza state in particular. Prof. Oyugi â€“ I wonder what advise this old man gave Raila if he couldn’t even win his own race â€“ received nomination certificate on a silver platter and kept it in his bedroom waiting to be sworn in as Migori county governor.
While he was busy pampering his certificate â€“ imagine he thought he had already won â€“ Mr. Obado moved to PDP and embarked on a spirited campaign that would see him become the first governor of Migori county. Isn’t this what we call democracy? Did these organized gangs attacking the governor expect him to accept and move on? Not unless they are insane.
It is time we employ beneficial debate aimed at supporting our elected leaders so that we can achieve maximum growth in Nyanza. I am not in any way disputing or restricting positive critics on any leader. What is logical is that those who engage on the same must provide facts and should not in any way cloud their reasoning and little heads with tribal or clan stereotypes that would otherwise qualify them as noisemakers and idlers.
You need not create hostile environment for people you demand services from. Posting photos of the governor shaking hands with other leaders then creating conspiracy theories that can’t even be verified and that only serve your egotistical interests will not help develop Nyanza.
What do you expect the governor to do? Run away when other leaders visit his county? It can’t work that way. It won’t work that way. Nyanza won’t be developed by gossipers and rumormongers. Hope you got it.
The writer comments extensively on topical issues and edited the book: Golden steps to your Hidden treasures.