By Arap Doyo
Contemptuously asking whether RAILA visited Mandera when 148 people were killed by the extremist group Alshabab as a counter narrative to his recent visit to Mandera is not only misplaced but a shallow one. The comparison itself is wrong. It seeks to paint the Mandera community which the former premier visited in the negative light; as one that was responsible for the heinous acts committed by the Somalia Militia group.
If we could care to jog our minds, Agwambo was among the first to send condolences to the families of 148 killed. In addition, he called for a serious approach to matters security to contain terrorism which is a global concern. In some of the burial ceremonies for the victims, Rao if not there in person his foot soldiers were present.
Morever, arguing why Raila did not visit Garrisa when Alshabaab struck is stupid in all sense. Why would he visit Garrisa yet the victims were largely residents of other regions? Was there any point of visiting Garrisa yet all students were evacuated and ferried back home? Or he should have visited Garrisa and condoled empty Garrisa University college buildings?
Again, the same people peddling that propaganda forgot to tell us if Uhuru or Ruto visited Garrisa. Why didn’t they? Or they want to tell us that the two never gave a damn about Garrisa attack?
If anything, DP Ruto himself visited Garrisa as late as last week, accompanied by the likes of Duale, why didn’t the same people ask him why he never visited when the attacks happened?
All in all, Rao was within his rights to visit Mandera and condole the people. It does not matter how many graves were found. Be it one or a hundred, the fact that is, there was loss of life in mysterious killings. And in our Cushitic communities, a loss of a single life is a loss to everyone. That is how we live. Much appreciation to Raila Odinga for standing with the Mandera Community.
Most importantly, Rao’s visit to Mandera is a show of unity with the many families (Muslims and Non Muslims) across the country that have lost beloved ones to extra judicial killings. The message is clear ; Kenya is a nation governed by the RULE of law. And yes we need to fight terrorism by all means possible but not killing innocent people in guise of fighting the menace ironically committing the same crime terrorists are known for.