The Oasis Reporters
August 11, 2017
Misty eyes were the lot of idealistic Nigerians monitoring the election in Kenya when Uhuru Kenyatta spoke after his declaration of victory by the Kenyan Electoral Commission. He urged Kenyans to reach out to their neighbors as “elections come and go … They’ll be winners and losers… Kenya remains for all, needing every Kenyan”.
Kenya has been relatively calm this week, though the country braced for possible violence Friday night, all signs seem pointed to peace in the east African nation.
Hundreds of riot police patrolled Nairobi’s central business district before the results were announced as a precautionary measure and opposition supporters burned tires and blocked roads in several areas.
The election commission rejected Odinga’s claims that its database was hacked and results manipulated against him. This may have been the last chance at the presidency for the 72-year-old Odinga after three unsuccessful attempts.
The long wait for election results increased tensions in the nation of 44 million people, though the commission by law had until Tuesday to announce them. At least three people were shot and killed during clashes between police and opposition supporters this week, according to France 24, a French television network.
Odinga, a former prime minister, claims that hackers infiltrated the election commission’s computer system with the identity of a murdered election official and altered results to favor the 55-year-old Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first president after independence from British colonial rule. On July 31, officials announced that Christopher Msando, an election official in charge of managing information technology systems, had been tortured and killed.
In addition, the American CEO of a campaign data firm working for Odinga was deported last weekend after the opposition said security forces threw him into the trunk of a car.
The election commission said there was a hacking attempt but it failed, and that Odinga’s camp had no right to declare him as the winner.
Meanwhile, Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni), the President of neighboring Uganda tweeted :
“I congratulate @UKenyatta upon his re-election as President of the Republic of Kenya”
Map Kibera (@mapkibera) Gunshots and tear gas in Kibera at the moment following announcement of incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta winning the election.twitter.com/mapkibera
Rwandan president Paul Kagame (@PaulKagame) also tweeted “Congratulations my brother @UKenyatta for a successful election and the trust Kenyans have placed in you!” twitter.com/PaulKagame
Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto avoided a runoff after receiving more than 50 percent of of the vote for a second five-year term, with 54.27%.
The electoral commission calling it “credible, fair”.
Nigeria’s election in 2015 contrasts sharply with Friday’s election in Kenya. The loser was the incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan who quickly called then 72 year old Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to congratulate him, even before counting of votes had been concluded.
In Kenya, the 72 year old Rahila Odinga has rejected the results, saying the electoral commission’s database was hacked.
While Kenyan president gave a unifying speech that stirred the soul of the nation, the Nigerian president elect said he would favor the regions that gave him more votes, calling his move the “reality” and ever since then, the country has been tottering on the brink of break up.