SPEECH OF H.E GOVERNOR AHMED ABDULLAHI OF WAJIR during the celebrations of madaraka day June 1st 201
H.E the Deputy Governor,
Hon. Members of the national assembly,
Hon. Speaker of the county assembly,
Hon. Members of the county assembly,
The people of Wajir,
Indeed today is a day we commemorate when our Kenya attained internal self-rule with great pride. We honor and pay tribute to the great men and women who gave all they had so that we might enjoy our free self-rule in a democratic environment. It is 52 years and counting of Nationhood, and, as the people of Wajir it has been a new dawn since devolution was born two years ago.
Despite the milestones we have achieved and the many things the great people of this republic deserve to proudly celebrate, we are facing many challenges that if we decide not take them on, the hard work that was put in by our forefathers, fathers and ourselves, will go down the drain.
Brothers and sisters, it is a trying moment for our country and it is only we the people of this nation who through unity, perseverance and love for each other can overcome this moment. Our county today is facing acute shortage of teachers, health workers and other skilled personnel because of the Al-shabab menace. Professionals from the rest of Kenya have fled for their safety.
Al-shabab is targeting the men and women who are educating our children and treating our sick people at the hospitals claiming they don't share the same faith with us. Yet in Somalia they kill Muslims and Somalis and give a different excuse to justify their heinous act.
As the residents of this county, we need to confront them with our hearts; hands, minds and wealth to see to it that their cheap propaganda does not disrupt our lives and that of our brothers from the rest of the country.
I know we have enjoyed some relative peace for quite some time. I therefore laud our KDF officers, the Rapid Response Unit, regular police, administration police and the Kenya Police Reservists for their commendable job. However, we should stay vigilant still, because the enemy is not gone for good. I also wish to commend the public for sharing intelligence information with the security officers. Most of those efforts have been fruitful and are today making Wajir a better place.
However, I would like to request the security apparatus to be professional and strictly follow the rule of law. Anyone who is apprehended for the suspicion of being involved in terror activities should be taken to the courts and be prosecuted. The recent claims of extra judicial killings in this county are very disturbing and if they are true it is indeed very unfortunate. The Wagalla massacre and other atrocities that were committed by the security agents in Wajir are still fresh in the minds of the people. We therefore don't want further actions that will make our people symbolize our security agents as the perpetrators of terror and inhumane acts.
As the leaders of this region, we have agreed on a raft of measures that are being put in place which will soon change the management of security in this area. More police officers and reservists will be deployed and vehicles purchased for the security officers. We believe these measures will bring back stability to our region.
Efforts to carry out de-radicalization programs are ongoing at different sub-counties to caution our youth from falling for the traps of the insurgents. As parents, we should take it as a personal responsibility to be aware of what our kids are going through and closely monitor them in these tough times.
Security and education continue to be the two most difficult areas for the county government to tackle due to constitutional limitations on our ability to intervene. However, we will continue to cooperate and work with the national government and other stake holders to improve them.
Ladies and gentlemen, all the ten departments of my government and the county assembly have made several achievements. Last Saturday, I oversaw the distribution of the bursary fund to disadvantaged students in our county. The funds allocated in this financial year were limited but we have increased it by more than half to the tune of 70 million shillings this coming financial year. Our objective of ensuring that at least 500 teachers are trained within the next three years is still on course and already over 50 students are enrolled in different colleges. This year, over 2300 students in secondary schools, colleges and universities have benefited from the fund.
Fellow citizens, the construction of the tarmac roads is at an advanced stage. Of course the road works have disrupted the normal traffic flow within Wajir and as well a few businesses located along the roads. I urge all of you to be patient because once these roads are done; it will not only give Wajir a facelift but hopefully improve the economy of this town. Even those doubting Thomases who were all along claiming we will not make it through with this project, are now applauding it.
Going smoothly side by side with the road project is the physical surveying of Wajir town. I urge you to fully cooperate with the surveyors, the town administration and the enforcement agencies once they reach your location.
Brothers and sisters, tomorrow I will launch the sharia compliant revolving fund through the department of Trade and Co-operatives. 135 women groups, 110 youth groups, 10 groups of persons with disabilities and 26 cooperatives will benefit from this fund of 50 million shillings. My government has increased that kitty to the tune of 70 million shillings in the coming financial year.
We expect these free interest loans will boost small scale traders and ultimately support the economy. I would also like to announce that my government is ready to do business with any financial institution or companies that are ready to invest at the sub-counties.
We are now completing the construction of Soko Mjinga II market with additional 39 new stalls and we will open it for the traders before the end of the year. Equally the new ultra-modern market in Suuq Diigle will be complete at the same period.
We have equipped these markets and erected stadium flood lights to improve security around these important installations.
Our interventions in the water and health care sectors have borne fruits. We have drilled 46 successful boreholes and have invested heavily in water works and pans.
The construction of the county drug store is underway and should be completed soon. Our dispensaries and health centers are well stocked. However, we continue to face challenges of personal in our health facilities. For the sub-county hospitals to work, the staff especially those doctors posted there should face up to the challenge of serving the people in these areas. We will also continue to improve housing and other working conditions for staff in the critical service delivery sectors.
Our agriculture department has established successful irrigation schemes across the county which in due course, we hope will improve food security. In the coming year we will focus on helping the farmers access markets for their fruit production and look into the possibility of value addition for the same.
Finally my fellow patriots of this county, the blessed month of Ramadan is approaching. I first take this early opportunity to wish all of you Saum maqbul. I would also like to announce that my government will distribute food to the disadvantaged people amongst our community. I also urge those who are well off to follow suit and generously give to the poor because among the teachings of this blessed month is equality and humility among the Muslim faithful.
May God bless Kenya, Wajir County and may HE bless you all.