Obama Speaks: Kenyans Have To Reject Politics Of Tribe And Ethnicity
Former American President, Barack Obama is not happy that fear for violence is overshadowing the upcoming Presidential election in his country of descent, Kenya.
He is therefore appealing to his countrymen to eschew any form of violence in the electoral process.
“To move forward, Kenyans have to reject a politics of tribe and ethnicity, and embrace the extraordinary potential of an inclusive democracy,” he said.
Eight candidates are vying to be president in the race, which is expected to come down to a two-man showdown between 55-year-old incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and 72-year-old opposition candidate, Raila Odinga who is taking his last shot at the Kenyan presidency.
Obama, whose father was Kenyan, urged the nation’s leaders to reject violence, while calling on security forces to act professionally and for the sides to “work together no matter the outcome.”
He called on the nation to build confidence in its new constitution and avoid the “needless pain and agony” prompted by the violence that followed the 2007 elections, when many believed Odinga was rigged out of victory and 1,200 people were killed.
“The Kenyan people as a whole will be the losers if there is a descent into violence. You can make clear that you will reject those that want to deal in tribal and ethnic hatred,” Obama said.
“As a friend of the Kenyan people, I urge you to work for a future defined not by fear and division, but by unity and hope,” he added.