Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow address residents at Geneva grounds in Mandera county on December 8, 2014. Leaders from the county have started an initiative dubbed Okoa Mandera which aims at restoring confidence in the troubled county. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Leaders from the troubled Mandera County have embarked on a series of meetings to restore the image of the county that has suffered several terrorist attacks in the past few months.
The leaders from political, religious and business circles have resolved to have operation Okoa Mandera to save the county from the mass exodus of civil servants that is being witnessed after the killing of non-locals and non-Muslims by the Al-Shabaab militants.
Speaking at a public baraza on Monday, Mandera County Governor Ali Roba said time had come for the people of Mandera to defend their county and the nation at large.
“Our county’s economy is under threat and we are saying time to save it is now.
“We are from today going to stop giving general information to the security agencies and give specific information so that Al-Shabaab can be dealt with.
“The terrorists have put sanctions on the people of this county because we have welcomed them and we are now asking the National Government to clean up the town,” said Mr Roba.
20 HEALTH FACILITIES CLOSED
The governor said 20 health facilities have already been closed in the county after health workers left the facilities fearing for their lives.
Mr Roba called on the public to volunteer information to the authorities as one of the measures for improving security.
“More than 150 teachers have applied for transfers from this county because of insecurity but before schools re-open early next year we have to make corrections so that our children can learn and the sick get treated. If we don’t cooperate and fight Al-Shabaab, it is our children who will suffer the most,” said Mr Roba.
The governor condemned the attacks adding that no religion supported the killing of anyone.
“These are drug addicts who are using religion to carry out terrorist activities and we have to be vigilant enough to know who is who and when renting our houses in town it’s good to keep records of our tenants.
“We have reached our elastic limit of tolerance and we want to see youths form vigilante groups to help the police in dealing with the terrorist groups,” he said.
Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow said: “Let’s all join hands in fighting Al-Shabaab by giving the right information to the security agencies.
Al-Shabaab has always claimed whenever they kill people that they are helping Kenyan Muslims when the Muslims inside Somalia are more troubled than the Kenyan ones.”
Other leaders who spoke were North Eastern Regional Coordinator Ernest Munyi who said the only way to restore security was to cooperate with security agencies and embrace the Nyumba Kumi security initiative.
Mandera County Commissioner Alex Ole Nkoyo said the government is ready to act against Al-Shabaab.
Other leaders present were Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Mohamed Adan, MPs Abdulazia Farah (Mandera East), Mohamud Mohamed (Mandera West) , Banisa Mohamed Abdow and Huka (Mandera South).