Lopur, 17th June 2023 (Governor’s Press Service)– Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has said that the county is committed to pursuing peace with neighbouring communities in the region but that leaders will also “selfishly” protect the interests of residents, including their security.
Speaking in Lopur, Turkana West, today during fundraising in support of youth and women, the governor insisted that Turkana residents are peace-loving but that leaders are keen to ensure that the people are not exploited due to the challenges faced in the county.
This follows the return of Turkana pastoralists who had migrated to Uganda in search of water and pasture after conflicts arose, leading to the arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of some pastoralists by the UPDF.
He informed residents of the leaders’ request to President Ruto to establish mega dams in Turkana to support pastoralists who are returning from Uganda. This would help to end the suffering of the Turkana people, who often migrate to Uganda.
“We will insist that when we discuss peace with our neighbours, it has to be real peace, not peace while our children suffer in Uganda prisons,” the governor said. “We have asked President Ruto to give us dams because Turkana is rich in the pasture so that our people remain here and stop suffering in foreign countries.”
The Governor, who was accompanied by County First Lady Lillian Ekamais, reiterated his commitment to the unity of Turkana leaders, who he said would work with President William Ruto to implement the development agenda for the people.
“The President has said that we don’t manufacture governors or MPs; they are elected by the people,” he said. “He has asked us to work together, and I promise to support them fully so that we can address issues including cross-border security.”
Governor Lomorukai also stated that county officials, including county executives, have strict instructions to focus on service delivery and avoid politics. He said that every executive is supposed to serve all residents across the county, regardless of where they come from.
Turkana West MP Epuyo Nanok agreed with the Governor on the need for leaders to unite in service to the people. He promised to continue working with the governor to address the challenges faced in the region.
Senator James Lomenen echoed the calls for unity and declared his support for Governor Lomorukai in serving the residents of Turkana. Speaker Christopher Nakuleu asked politicians with leadership ambitions to give those elected time to deliver their mandate.
Woman Representative Cecilia Ng’itit challenged leaders to shun differences and unite to find solutions to residents’ problems. Turkana Central MP Emathe Namuar asked residents of Turkana to be patient with the Kenya Kwanza administration, promising that the government’s plans will bear fruit in the long term. He explained that the decision to support the Finance Bill was aimed at ending the country’s reliance on foreign borrowing to fund the budget.
Other leaders present were Deputy Speaker Philip Ekuwom (Nanam), Leader of Majority Stephen Edukon (Turkwel), Gilbert Topos (Lopur), Eliud Emoni (Kakuma), Julius Apuron (Kalobeyei), Ruth Kuya (Lodwar Township), Sarah Abdi (nominated), Vincent Ekipor (Lokichoggio), Bethwel Lochor (Songot), Mathew Alany (Kang’atotha) and Napion Patrick (Kaeris).
Senior County officials accompanying the Governor included Executives Patrick Losike (Infrastructure), David Erukudi (Agriculture, Livestock Development and Fisheries) and Elizabeth Loote (Trade), among others.