Historic.That is how residents in Pokot county will remember Aug 21st as they witnessed the peaceful transition of leadership held at ASK Show Ground Kishaunet, Kapenguria.
In a ceremony that was witnessed by thousands of Pokot residents and delegates from Turkana County led by The Governor Josephat Nanok, delegates from Uganda, South Sudan and national leaders among them KANU chairperson and Baringo County Senator Gideon Moi, Prof John Lonyangapuo and his Deputy Nicholas Atudonyang were duly sworn in to head and lead the county.
Justice Geoffrey Kimonto who presided over the swearing in ceremony took the new county leaders through the process of appending their signatures amid huge applause from the crowd that had gathered at the grounds.
Speaking after the ceremony, Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo stated that the ceremony saw West Pokot county get into the history books, having held one of the most peaceful elections despite the county having been listed as ‘hot spot.’
“Today, we have shown the rest of the country that the Pokots are united and are committed in ensuring that their county develops, rises and be among the top performing counties.”
Governor Prof Lonyangapuo maintained that the promise they made to the people of this county will remain their top agenda and that they will remain steadfast in delivering the promise. He further emphasized that his government will invest hugely in infrastructure and identify priority areas by enhancing public participation to actualize their development agenda.
He pointed out that West Pokot county will only witness a great development record by working closely with the national government.” We have witnessed other counties with a close relationship with the national government reap big from the national basket. We cannot lag behind.”
On the issue of education, Gov Prof Lonyangapuo said that his government will build about five schools along the neighbouring counties borders to enhance literacy levels and also be a tool to bring about peace among the communities, especially in Pokot, Turkana, Marakwet and Baringo borders,”Building schools alone will not be enough. More will be needed. We shall initiate projects along the beorders to help our people.”
His deputy Dr. Nicholas Atudonyang who also expressed the same sentiments, made it clear that the issue of corruption that has not only crippled this county but the rest of the country, will not be tolerated in the new leadership. He emphasized that corruption has been the death bed of this county for a long time, being the reason the county has not made major developmental strides.
“We cannot as the people of this county let corruption be the norm if we want to be among the best performing counties in terms of development. We have to stand up and redeem our county. It will not be business as usual.”
On the issue of nurses ‘strike, Dr.Atudonyang said that they will be in talks with the nurses to end the strike as soon as possible. He said that agreements can only be reached if the concerned parties hold talks before resorting to strikes and giving the human life a priority.
The outgoing Governor Simon Kachapin on his part urged the residents of this county to put aside their political differences and support the new leadership, saying that the county of West Pokot is greater than a single person. Kachapin who conceded defeat soon after the elections termed the transfer of power as ‘true expression of democracy.’
“This is a historic day for all of us. We must now put aside our differences and support our new leadership. This is the time for us to join hands and ensure that the development of our county will be a priority.”
The KANU delegation led by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi who came along with the newly elected MP for Tiaty William Kamket said that the Pokot people have made the right choice in electing a visionary leader. He added that the issue of insecurity along the borders will be dealt with.
Representing the Council of Governors as the chair and Governor of Turkana county Josephat Nanok said he is positive that the communities living along the borders will now begin to experience development as the issue of insecurity will soon be history. He urged warring communities to embrace peace and live in harmony in order to be able to develop as communities.
Speaking on behalf of the senators present among them Kiambu Senator Kimani Wa Matangi and former nominated senator Martha Wangare, the Senator elect Samwel Poghisio echoed the sentiments of embracing peace as neighbouring communities. Furthermore, he assured the governors of their support as members of the senate.
Other leaders present were the PS Min of Devolution and Planning Micah Powon, PS Khadija Kasachoon, Min of Labor among others guests from across the country.