Kenya, never again!

We, as a media organisation, will continue to be alive to our early warning responsibility, by drawing the attention of policy makers to problems that could result in catastrophe, for redress.

The Ghanaian Times makes reference to, and wants to draw the attention of the international community to the disturbing signals that are emerging from the Kenya after the recent elections to prevent the country from sliding back into anarchy, akin to the civil war in 2007, following similar disputes over election results.

We are referring to the decision by the veteran politician and one time Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, leader of the Kenyan main opposition party, National Super Alliance (NASA), to have him sworn into office as President on December 12, Kenya’s Republic Day known as “Jamhuri Day”, claiming he is the legitimate President.

“I am not a coward, I will be sworn as President on Jamhuri Day, I am the legitimate President,” Mr Odinga is reported to have told his supporters at a rally on November 28.

In as much as we appreciate his concerns, it is our humble opinion that this statement is a recipe for disaster. Kenya has come a long way after similar election disputes in 2007 that threw the once peaceful and stable Eastern African country into civil war, resulting in the deaths of thousands and its attendance refugee crisis.

The statements from Raila Odinga have already stoked tension in the country which must be doused immediately before the unthinkable happens.

Since the general elections which were held in Kenya on August 8 ended with the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta retaining power, the opposition has cried foul, claiming that the results had been rigged by the ruling government.

As a result, a businessman and former Member of Parliament, Harun Mwau followed due process by filing a suit in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the results.

The Supreme Court in its ruling annulled the results and called for a re-election on October 26, but the NASA, led by Mr Odinga, boycotted the re-run, which was won by Mr Kenyatta.

Consequently, Mr Kenyatta was duly sworn into office promising to build bridges of cooperation and working with divergent views to enhance national unity.

Ordinarily, we thought that once the Supreme Court of the land had declared the August 8, elections null and void and called for re-run, the main opposition party would have taken advantage to prove a point, but that was not to be!

With the re-run over and a winner declared, we thought that should be the end of the story. No we were wrong!

We however, disagree with Raila Odinga and humbly appeal to the opposition forces in Kenya to allow sleeping dogs lie and let Kenya move on in the supreme interest of the people.

Swearing-in another person as President to form a parallel government is not in the interest of Kenya and by extension peace and stability on the continent.

The question to be asked is if Mr Odinga carries through with his swearing-in, who then becomes the Commander-in-Chief of the country’s Armed Forces? We ask this question in view of the fact that Kenya, is already facing security threat from the Somalia Al-shabbab terror group across its borders and needs a legitimate commander to use the security apparatus to fight it.

Having that at the back of our minds, we appeal directly to Raila Odinga to take the interest of Kenya and its people into consideration and stop the swearing-in ceremony to prevent anarchy and conflict which would result in the death of innocent people.

We recall similar incident in Nigeria in the 90s when the late Nigerian businessman and politician, Chief Moshood Abiola, disputed a presidential election and declared himself as the president, but did not succeed. He ended up in jail and died subsequently

We appeal especially to Mr Odinga and to Kenyans to let bygones be bygones and move on as one nation, one people and with a common destiny, while we urge the international community to keep an eagle eye over developments in Kenya.

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