Speculation is rife over the reason for the recent visit of Jubaland State President Sheikh ‘Madobe’ Ahmed to Garissa county.
The Star has learnt that the leader me with a senior political figure in Northeastern Kenya and community leaders. The aim was to influence the upcoming Jubaland elections, the Star was told.
Sources told the Star that Madobe had come to lobby for support from his Ogaden clan, whose majority live in Kenya, against his rivals being supported by the Somali Federal Government.
Other reports indicate that the Jubaland President was in Garissa to see a sick relative.
In the regional elections next year, several candidates from Madobe’s backyard are eyeing his seat, while other contenders are backed by the federal government.
Osman Ibrahim is one of the prominent Garissa elders whose photos with the Jubaland leader were shared widely yesterday in social media.
He said, however, there were no talks between them on any issues concerning Kenya and Jubaland or the upcoming polls.
Speaking separately, Garissa county peace committee secretary Hassan Shurie said that Madobe was in the county ‘for an unofficial and non-political visit’.
“People should stop reading too much in his visit. He had come to visit close relatives who were ill. He held meetings with a few local elders and expressed solidarity with the Kenyan people and those in the cross-border areas,” Shurie said.
Jubaland has played an important role in KDF’s presence in the region.